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The Rough Guide to Rome (Rough Guide Travel Guides) Paperback – 28 Jun 2007
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Featuring maps and photos, this is a handbook to Rome. It includes a full-colour section that introduces Rome's 'must-sees'. It has coverage of Rome's essential sights with 'author pick' featuring of all the best places to eat, drink and stay to suit every budget. It also takes a look at Rome's enormous classical origins.
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On the plus side the introduction was very useful and details regarding rules and regulations for the more religious areas of Rome were excellent.
There are some good hints and tips in here but overall the book was too complicated to use and as such stayed in the hotel room.
I admit I didn't really use the maps (which the lack of seems to be everyone's main gripe) but when we got there we were given a brilliant free map at our hotel with pictures of all the main sites, and as every other tourist seemed to have one too I think most hotels give them out (called Welcome to Roma map I think), so this was never a problem for us.
I found the Rough Guide had the easiest to use format of the 3 guide books I bought, I love the pictures at the front of the 'must see' sights as they give you inspiration, and like the detail it gives you about each place. For example, I read up on the history of Imperial Rome and the Popes etc, so when we visited the Forum and the Vatican everything the guide said made so much more sense.
Maybe this is because I have always used Rough Guides rather than any other, so the format seemed the most logical to me. On the other hand, we did feel the AA Pocket Guide to Rome (2008) was extremely handy to carry around in our pocket as a reference, and my boyfriend liked that one because he has a short attention span and there wasn't too much to read! The info in there is only top-line for each place though.
My only complaint was the writer's tendency to have slightly negative opinions about some of the major sites, for example claiming the Forum was dissapointing to most visitors etc, - thank goodness I decided to make my own mind up as I thought it was very interesting!
Overall, there are some flaws with this book but from trying several guides I found this was definitely the most comprehensive and easy to use.
The restaurants that were tried in Bracciano were both disappointing. The shopping section was also poor - the major shopping mall at the termini was no more than you would get at the airport. Poorly written over complicated - the book lost its credibility and therfore ending up in the bin before it completey ruined our holiday.
Do not buy!!
The book is broken up into easily turned to sections, that cover different regions of the city, making negotiating the info packed pages quick and concise.
Galleries and major works are noted so you know which church to pop in to see cavases and sculptures by the masters. Along with curiosities, pleasant places, trips out of the city and things for the kids.
I read this book before I went to the city and had it on hand constantly whilst there. It helped us see and do as much as was possible in the time we had. If you want a guide to Rome; buy this book!
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