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on 15 October 2004
I bought this as on the reputation of Lonely Planet guides. I was disappointed, and will go for other guides in future.
The book is divided, like other guide books, into a general history, culture, etc. guide to Rome; then it goes through Rome region by region; and then finally onto shopping, eating, and maps.
Unfortunately, I found that much of the information was either missing or inaccurate. I discovered that many opening times were wrong (especially for one of the recommended walks - it suggested going on a Sunday, but then we discovered that two of the museums, and the catacombes, were all closed on Sundays: the only place that was open the guide said would be closed!). Advice on travel, where to eat, gift-shopping, etc was also woefully inadequate. And the maps at the book were completely useless when trying to navigate around the city. Information about the tourist sites also tended to be poor - e.g. a big bit on what happens when it rains in the Pantheon, but very little on why it was built.
The saving graces of this book are it's good background to modern life in Rome, but this is nothing that couldn't be read in advance. The small phrase book section in the back is also useful, but should be much more comprehensive.
I have DK guides for other cities, and was much happier with them than I was with this book.
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on 1 June 2004
This was a very useful book. It is easy to use and had interesting descriptions of the places worth visiting. It would have been useful to have had more information on the buses as the underground train system in Rome is very limited. Also the section on the Roman Forum is hard to understand as they tell you to approach from one direction and then describe starting from the opposite one! However, given the lack of public explanations in the Forum, I think everyone is pretty lost.
Cocnclusion: worth the money.
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