Rick Steves Italy 2019 Paperback – 18 Oct 2018
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Explore the flavors, culture, and passion of Italy with this bestselling comprehensive guide, revised annually.
About the Author
Since 1973, Rick Steves has spent about four months a year exploring Europe. His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. Rick produces a best-selling guidebook series, a public television series, and a public radio show, and organizes small-group tours that take over 30,000 travelers to Europe annually. He does all of this with the help of more than 100 well-traveled staff members at Rick Steves' Europe in Edmonds, WA (near Seattle). When not on the road, Rick is active in his church and with advocacy groups focused on economic and social justice, drug policy reform, and ending hunger. To recharge, Rick plays piano, relaxes at his family cabin in the Cascade Mountains, and spends time with his son Andy and daughter Jackie. Find out more about Rick at www.ricksteves.com and on Facebook.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Oh no, you WILL be stiffed in my view, unless you're on the "Package Tour Of Cliched Sites" visit and even then I have some questions about the value. The blurb offers COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE for planning a MULTI-WEEK TRIP. The author’s emphasis, not mine. It claims to include “everything worth seeing without weighing you down”.
Right. So apparently Sicily isn’t worth seeing, nor is Puglia (mentioned once, in passing), nor is Basilicata (zero mentions). Matera (the 2019 European capital of culture) isn’t worth seeing in Rick-world since it’s omitted as well, nor is Sardinia (the name is mentioned 8 times but in a historical context, not as a destination), nor is Molise, Le Marche, but hey, Abruzzo gets one mention! Oh, wait, it’s only mentioned as the birthplace of one of the researchers.
In fact, let’s scratch the entire east coast of Italy except for Venice because hey, you’ve heard of Venice, right? No, wait, to be fair you will find a mention of the Dolomites as well.
After I bought the book, I settled back to read all the advice about one of my major destinations, Piedmont. Home of Turin, birthplace of the modern Italian republic. Home to Le Langhe, a rich agricultural region every bit as beautiful as Tuscany, even if it doesn’t have its own Diane Lane movie.
Wait, what, where is it? I love being able to hit the Search feature in a Kindle book. Piedmont gets... three mentions. Three. One single paragraph about the types of wines grown there, one about a café that includes dishes from there on the menu, one about the historical House of Savoy’s other name. Turin is mentioned 5 times, mostly in terms of how to get to other, more Rick-able places in Italy and once in the context of the 1960's movie The Italian Job. So my dreams of finding a great agriturismo in Le Langhe (zero mentions) took a power dive.
But hey, if you want to know about Varenna in the Italian Lakes district, this book is almost an encyclopaedia on it. (Which is great, or would be had the title of the book been "Rick Steves' Favourite Places In Italy 2019", which it isn't.) Conversely we are advised that we should visit Villa Balbianello near there. Why is never explained; the reader is left to research that for themselves. However we're given the departure times for some trains out of Milan. I can't help feeling that those may be subject to change (and therefore less relevant to include in the book) as opposed to, say, why you might want to visit a particular place. What might attract you there. What you might see there.
I just noticed another review titled "Should be titled MOST of Italy". While I agree with the contents of the review, I disagree about that title. MOST of Italy is what this book leaves out. What it is is "The Bits Of Italy You May Have Heard Of In Hollywood Movies, Specifically Rome, Tuscany, Milan, Venice, Naples And Sorrento 2019".
I try to find the good in products and am a pretty easy marker in terms of rating them, but I'm hitting this with 1 star simply because in my opinion the title is COMPLETELY misrepresentative and misleading about what this book actually is. If you want a self-proclaimed "COMPREHENSIVE" coverage of Italy, this is not the book to go to. With over half the country not even getting a mention, it's not even close. And for mine, that is just not on.