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Customer Reviews

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on 31 May 2011
I took the Blue Guide to Rome on my recent visit as a supplemental to the Dorling Kindersley guide and the Rough Guide to Rome map. I used this to read up the night before seeing sites and then to review after as it's pretty heavy if you're carrying around lots of other items too. However it's a really excellent guide, it gives you way more history than the others I looked at and really made the stay more special.
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on 23 May 2011
The best guide for visiting Rome. Feel of relevant information about sights and places. Luckily this book only dedicates a small section to places to stay or eat.
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on 26 May 2014
We bought the Blue Guide to Rome for our second visit to the city in six months: this was because the Michelin Guide we had used before gave us only cursory information on the sites we had visited then. Rome was not, of course, built in a day and any of its major treasures certainly take at least half a day to see adequately. The Blue Guide is scholarly and perhaps too heavy-weight for quick tourism but if you have been bitten by the Roman bug and really want to delve then this is for you. It is written in clear language and the index makes it easy for you to dive in at any level you want. Now I have come home I want to pick it up again and pore over it, revisiting in my mind the places that we saw. We were particularly interested in San Clemente. My husband visited it alone in December because I had a tummy bug at the time and he had only the Michelin for company. This time we went together and spent an entire morning there with the Blue Guide taking us all the way from the Temple of Mithras on the lowest level right up to the stunning mosaics in the church itself. We could hardly tear ourselves away.
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on 28 October 2010
Excellent. Interesting and detailed information, clearly organised and easy to use. Good to have practical information on hotels, places to eat, and transport as well. The maps could have been better.
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on 4 November 2011
Full of historical and practical detail, learning with a light touch. The maps on various scales are particularly valuable. But it's heavier than most to carry about.
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on 2 April 2011
Let me say right from the start that the Blue Guide remains easily the best overall information book about Rome for a modern traveller, and the only absolutely essential guide I would always take with me. However - and I hardly dare to write this (but considering I was Alta Macadam's nephew's erstwhile Classics teacher, I claim some sort of right...!) - this latest tenth edition (published Oct. 2010) has made some radical changes in format and content from the previous ones: not all of them for the better.
For example: she (along with - or maybe because of - her new co-author Annabel Barber) has dispensed with the previous system of presenting most of the information in the form of continuous itineraries, including now only a handful of `walks' (excellent though these are). Instead, the book now devotes separate sections to the main monuments or attractions to be found in the various districts, in a similar way found in lesser guides. This has the effect of relegating the less-well-known churches & monuments to an alphabetical section towards the back, where they are inevitably out of context and confusing to place. It was far more useful (and satisfying) to be able to wander down a street and see, sometimes actually palace by palace, what one was passing. Gone in some cases altogether are some of the more obscure "finds" that could only ever be traced via this book: where for just one example is the area around Piazza Vittorio Emanuele with its hidden treats of the so-called Trophies of Marius and Porta Magica? And to have relegated the Area Sacra in Largo Argentina to practically a footnote is almost criminal...!
Admittedly, the plans are often more readable than before, and we are given some extra photos (the relative lack of which was always a common niggle previously) - but these few only serve to whet the appetite for more...this should surely be left to the glossier, more commercial guides. It seems a half-hearted measure just to throw in a few more photos: why are some chosen rather than others?
It is obviously good to try to update opening times and details of `in restauro' closures, but even some of these were already inaccurate or out of date in my visit only 5 months after publication; and many churches described as `usually closed' were open to the world regularly. Rome being Rome, it is almost impossible to produce a comprehensive and current list of what is open when - maybe it is just better to describe what can be found if and when something does happen to be open? In a guide like this, too, I would question the relevance of including sections on hotels and restaurants (this is admittedly not just a quibble with the new edition). These are inevitably subjective, and prone to constant changes of `fashion' (not to mention price increases!), and are generally covered much more comprehensively in the other more commercial guide-books.
It is probably too much to hope that the `itinerary' format may be restored fully next time, with the delightful unexpected discoveries it can bring; and that some of the more peripheral treasures may be included again. The Blue Guide has been my constant companion in Rome over visits for 25 years, and will remain so - but this latest edition is rather too much like seeing a distinguished and elegant old friend trying to join in with a set of young `trendies'.
The star rating I have awarded (I admit) is far less than this book really deserves, but I have done so partly for `shock value', and in the hope of attracting further debate. I sit ready for the wrath this heresy will probably produce in response!
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on 5 March 2012
Comprehensive, detailed, well-written, easy to use, well-researched, regularly updated, thoroughly reliable....the Blue Guide to Rome ticks all of the boxes and towers above its competitors. And the addition, in recent editions, of colour photographs has been the icing on the cake.

I would almost go as far saying that if it is not in the Blue Guide it is not worth seeing. And I speak as a professional, one whose business it is to guide people around the Eternal City.
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on 2 October 2013
Very good book, lots of tips and very informative.
Bit on the heavy side to carry around and I was disappointed that
it did not contain a pull out map.
Hence 4/5
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on 27 November 2013
This book is in perfect new state! The book was delivered on the day it was expected. It will be very helpful for my intended trip to Rome.
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on 6 March 2016
Great guide for our Rome trip - especially if you prefer reading historical background of sites.
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