Customer Review

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable tourist map, with downsides., 5 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Sicily Marco Polo Map (Marco Polo Maps) (Map)
For a two-week holiday with a hire car in Sicily, based out of Taormina, I ordered this and the Michelin and both brought something to the party - it would have been difficult to manage as well as we did without having both of them. This is because both had significant gaps.

The Marco Polo was much more up to date. As Sicily is undergoing a massive investment in its road infrastructure this is fairly critical - there were roads here that simply weren't on the Michelin, but drivers and navigators should note that even this will be out of date very soon as roads are either being upgraded to higher status roads (e.g. single to dual carriageway) or being replaced entirely with autostrada and by-passes.

The Marco Polo also has a booklet of town maps, which is great.

The Marco Polo is aimed at tourists, and has a rating system for towns, based on whether they are worth a trip, a detour or are fairly worth stopping off at. It's not a bad system, but we found that its single star ratings were usually specific to a very small number of buildings and were rarely worth the chaos of the traffic and the struggle to find somewhere to park. Some of the roads are marked in green, to indicate attractive routes, which is helpful.

The major downside of the Marco Polo is that the autostrada (motorway) junctions are very poorly depicted, making it very difficult to work out what was going on at any given entry or exit point - or even if there is a junction at all. The Michelin was infinitely better at this.

Another downside is that the size of towns is indicated by the size of the lettering - big towns like Catania are given huge capitalized fonts, little villages are given tiny regular fonts. In busy areas, the resulting scramble of placenames of different sizes is incredibly difficult to read, and the tiny place names of villages and features like mountain peaks are very difficult to read.

Road numbers are difficult to read as well, as the bigger roads are indicated by white lettering on light green or white on light blue.

No contours are marked, although peaks are indicated with heights, and some details of relief are shown.

It's quite a big map, and required the occasional stop to get out of the admittedly small car in order to beat it into submission, but being a map of the whole of Sicily that was inevitable. It was only printed on once side, which makes for more paper but I prefer to double-sided maps which mean less paper but more difficulty when traveling from one side of the map to the other.

It's a reasonably good map, and sets out to be tourist-friendly, but it has downsides.
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