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The Rough Guide to Tuscany & Umbria Paperback – 1 May 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 8 edition (1 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405389702
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405389709
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 269,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Reliable, readable Rough Guides (Conde Nast Traveller)


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I used the previous edition of this guide during a 3 week stay on the borders of Tuscany and Umbria, and so was keen to see what changes had been made. As with all guide book publication, this guide attempts to balance portability, inclusiveness, visual appeal, clarity of text and maps, detail of essential practical information, price and the expectations of the kind of traveller who buys this kind of book. Considering that this edition is shorter by 120 pages, I was expecting to see the glorious detail of the familiar 7th edition brutally hacked away and the book lacking some of its former appeal. I really shouldn't have worried. The splendours of Florence, Siena, Assisi, Lucca, Pisa, Perugia and all the other gems of these regions are fully documented. Even our 3 weeks home of last year, Citta della Pieve, retains its informative page and a half! And (despite the views of other reviewers) the book also includes plenty of information about national parks, scenic delights, and assorted activities which it would be hard to define as 'cerebral'. However, the region is one of the great cultural (with a capital C) centres, so it's unsurprising to find that most of the information is about such things. That suits my tastes perfectly: for those with different interests, there are plenty of guides which tell you less about such things!

Visually, the book is a treat: the (rather pointless in my opinion) black and white, often rather grainy and unclear images of older editions have disappeared and the photography is now all in colour, distributed throughout the book and no longer confined to the top attractions list. The book is a much more appealing browse and appetite whetter. Mapping is significantly clearer, on a par at least with the Lonely Planet maps which I have generally thought superior.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
good book and a good guide but total rubbish as far as for use on the kindle fire, as you cannot access the maps. therefore you are not getting value for money, as to whose fault that is, I dont know but it should have been offered at a cheaper price and in BIG BOLD LETTERS 'WARNING YOU CANNOT ACCESS THE MAPS ON KINDLE FIRE HD' it would have been helpful
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Tuscany and Umbria are among Italy's most exalted regions, with the serene Renaissance cities of Florence, Sienna and Perugia at their cultural heart, and any guide book attempting to adequately reflect the inspirational landscapes, the amazing hill-top towns and villages, the nostalgic pines and fountains, the architecture, arts, history and high civilization of this part of Italy... has to write with a sense of the aesthetic, refinement and pure enchantment as well as with sufficient mundane factual expertise... the Rough Guide accomplishes this aim very well.

The guide perfectly balances text, description, photographs, maps and practical information on where and when to go, what to see, where to stay and eat etc, in 580 pages packed with everything one needs to know, including some useful Italian vocabulary and a comprehensive index. There are chapters on the history of Tuscany and Umbria, the famous Medici, as well as a directory of artists and architects whose creative masterpieces so transformed medieval peasant Italy into the High Renaissance. Most guides are printed on glossy paper which often gives an artificially enhanced and unreal quality, especially to the photographs, but the Rough Guide is printed on a satin type of paper which softens the photography and induces a much more tranquil effect on the reader's mind and senses.

The Rough Guide is very inclusive, designed and offering something for every individual taste and level of financial means, supplying facts and information for every type of traveller, from air flights to travel by train, car, bus, bicycle and walking. There is information on hotels, self-catering accommodation, bed and breakfast, student hostels and even camping.
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By Marand TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a useful guide both for planning a trip and then to take with you. As you would expect, Florence receives the greatest attention, taking up probably a quarter of the book, and there are good sections on the places on the main tourist areas of Siena, Pisa, Lucca, the Tuscan hill towns & wine areas. However, it is pleasing that less well known places, such as the beautiful country around Bagno di Lucca, are also covered in enough depth to whet the appetite.

Although Umbria appears in smaller letters on the cover, there is still good information about this less visited province. Assisi and Perugia get the lion's share of attention but there is decent information about places like Trevi or Todi (I haven't been to the latter for maybe twenty years and the description now suggests it may have become overly gentrified which would be a shame as it was a charming place - not sure whether I want to go back now).

The book is perhaps disappointing in having little or no information about walks apart from usually brief mentions, a lacuna that is all the more surprising since there is precious little of this information readily available in Italy either.

The layout of Rough Guides has improved over the years and this guide benefits from colour photos and is laid out in a logical way. Practical information such as travel information, accommodation & restaurant listings is grouped at the end of the description of places/sites. It is always difficult to comment on accommodation & eating suggestions as this is so much down to personal taste and expectation.
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