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Michelin Green Guide Sicily Paperback – 16 Feb 2012
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New copy, dispatched from the UK.
Top customer reviews
To give a flavour of what is so poor about this guide I refer to the section on Siracusa:
"With so many wonderful buildings and outlooks, it is impossible to set an itinerary to include all that might be worth seeing. The descriptions below therefore mention only the most interesting streets, leaving a large section of the historical city without commentary to explore according to inclination".
Eh? I've just shelled out money for this, when I could simply have wandered around with a map from the tourist office. In the past the green guide would have had a go. It can't simply be the lack of space, since we have almost a whole page on "Papyrus and the Origins of Paper".
The arrangement of the text is very poor too with the section labelled "Ortygia" following the description of most of its major sites.
Also some of the judgements are bizarre: the Duomo, a unique building constructed on the site of the Ancient Greek temple of Athene, and using most of its perfect Doric columns, is given 1* while the moderately interesting Orecchio di Dionisio (basically a large old cave with an unusual echo) is awarded 3*.
Green guides now have sections on recommended hotels and restaurants, which elbows out the greater detail that one wants from a guide of this sort. In any case, I've no idea how good these recommendations are. Very few appear in the Red Guide, so I assume Michelin are not too taken with them.
Michelin seem to have lost their way with the most recent editions of the Green Guide and are attempting to compete with much flashier and less scholarly competition. I don't think they can win in this field, except perhaps in France.
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Some thoughts on possible improvements:
town maps maddeningly and too frequently have the town center in or near the book's crease making it difficult to interpret;
there seems to be almost no co-ordination between this guidebook and what is found on [...] particularly with respect to restaurants and hotels;
some prosaic traveler requirements are un-addressed, such as the location and opening hours of public lavatories. Sicily is not great about providing these facilities and it would be nice if the Green Guide could fill this void to some degree.