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VINE VOICEon 13 April 2006
QUICK INFORMATION:

The Dk Eyewitness travel guide is firstly what it says it is - A Guide. It is there to help you with advice to resource you with useful information for your forth-coming travels. I have used several DK Eyewitness Guides, as there is a vast range and found them to be useful for my certain plan of action. I have especially used these while travelling in Italy.

These Guides I would suggest are for the following - if you are combining a holiday with a spot of sightseeing, require a history element, maybe taking off and having you own little adventure, wish to partake in travelling in your own style by bus, hydrofoil or train this is the guide for you. I do not advise this particular guidebook for backpackers or people travelling off the beaten track. There is no hidden treasure here for you.

Second quick checkpoint when purchasing an edition of this book, please check that you have the most recent and up to date version.

Example: I was using edition 2005 but had notice this certain edition had not been updated since 2003. a necessary factor of any travel guide is to require the latest information most editions of these books are usually updated yearly.

BOOK OVERVIEW:

This book is extremely well planned and laid out, even showing you how to use this book guide. It covers History, Art, Architecture,Culture, as well as Churches, Volcanoes, Museums, Roman ruins, Islands and Beaches. It starts with an introduction to Naples, Followed by Naples area by area. it comes with a survival guide of practical information on travel and has a Naples map and street finder.

Each section of this book has been broken down; an area of Naples has been mapped out and numbered for the items of tourist interest, where to go, location, places to see or an object being described with a picture. It also shows interior and exterior of buildings with photographs and illustrated design. This book has beautiful glossy pages; it is not just for reading its showing you. What I loved was the fact that it had a visitors checklist such as opening times of shops, museums, etc. Areas of Naples are all colour coded.

This book then follows through in sections and chapters with surrounding areas, Phlegraean fields, Cumae, Portici and the Vesuvian Villas, Mount Vesuvius, Herculaneum, Pompeii, The Sorrento Peninsula, The Amalfi Coast, Along the Sorrento Coast, Paestum, Caserta, Capri, Ischia and Procida. Information on these places are about a page to two pages each, I found it was enough to get by on as when I was travelling around the biggest source for me is word of mouth, speaking to the locals or fellow holiday makers. Road maps, motorways the famous coastline is all shown. For the drivers section Naples can be tricky watch those trams, red traffic lights are more of a suggestion than a stop sign, traffic in Naples can be grid locked, down the coast while looking at the amazing scenery don't forget to keep one eye on the road. Drivers buckle up and good luck.

At the back of the book there are many tips on being safe, Chemists/Pharmacy are all marked and listed, an importance in any city. Information on hotels, restaurants, cafe, bars and festivals, Bank Holidays. More important for me, ladies shopping, even what time of year the sales start and when the markets are on. Men be vigilant keep those wallets in a safe place. It also has an Italian phase page, please try to give the language a go, it's courteous and appreciated, the Italians have a sense of humour and even if you say it incorrectly remember.............. it whether their laughing with us or at us that count.

MY TIPS:

Read the book in advance before travelling; use the internet as another source of information. For example, I needed to find out about the hydrofoil timetables and price list, also if they were running from Naples to Amalfi Coast in September. The guidebook had already told me about the metro del mare hydrofoil service, so I typed in metro del mare as a key word via internet, the information is at your fingertips. Timetables, Routes and Prices can also be obtained from key words in this book for Ferries crossing, Trains, Public bus, best places to obtain your tickets from, also try the Summer in Italy web site just by typing in Summer in Italy, Hotels try Trip Advisor lots of information is given. Guidebooks in general do not list times and prices because they frequently change; also another unpredictability would be the weather, take everything into account how you travel about.

This book I found to be a wonderful source of information, many holiday makers were browsing through it while I was there, fascinated by it even. The history element was my keen interest, also the fact with all the information I'd obtained from this book plus the internet, I simply got off my flight in Naples and set out, so this book comes highly recommended from me, take this guide with you, good luck, stay sharp in the city have a fantastic time.
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on 19 September 2007
As you'd expect from a guide by Dorling Kindersley, this is a beautifully presented book, full of colour illustrations, photographs, and interesting and easy-to-read bits of information. The guidebook covers Naples, divided into 6 areas, with maps and places to visit in each. There are also 2 suggestions for guided walks within the city, each taking in a number of sights.

A separate section then covers the Amalfi coast, listing the main villages and towns, with chapters on Pompeii, Vesuvius, Herculaneum etc., and illustrations, photos and suggestions for places to visit in each. There are small maps for some of the towns and for Pompeii and Herculaneum. A section at the end lists hotels and restaurants to suit all budgets. We found the information to be pretty accurate, and the suggested sights were as described (when they were open).

My main criticism of this book is its lack of practical information. For example, it tells you that you can get the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii - but not that it doesn't run after noon on certain public holidays even though the site is open all day. It tells you that you can drive, and the main road to take, but nothing about parking once you get there. It doesn't warn you that the station at Herculaneum is at the top of a long hill, or that the only snack bar inside is closed on certain public holidays - which can be important if you're travelling with children or older people. There is little or no advice on accessibility for people with disabilities. The maps are patchy, with only some roads labelled - I found the map of central Sorrento was fine for walking around, but the road maps of larger areas were too vague to navigate by, and the two maps of Pompeii missed off far too many streets and features to be much use.

This is a lovely book to read before you go on a visit to the region, and after you get back to remember what you've seen and done, but there isn't enough practical information to make it the only guide you need.
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on 6 April 2017
went a bought another book as this wasn't as detailed as I needed
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on 19 June 2017
Excellent book for the weekend traveller
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VINE VOICEon 5 June 2011
Love these D&K guides. Pocket size and easy to carry, the maps and places they suggest you visit are always useful. Beautifully produced they make a marvellous souvenir after the holiday. If you haven't tried them definitely great buy. fjs
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on 21 April 2007
Beautifully printed and clearly set out. Used this for a trip to the Amalfi coast and it highlighted some hidden gems to explore. Also included some good restaurant listings and tips. Excellent coverage of all areas, including Pompeii and Vesuvius.
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I have a large number of these travel guides. What I like about them is their format – each book gives an overview (rather than lots of detail). It provides a summary of what is on offer. Inside is not just the obvious i.e. the Top 10 sights to see. Also you get things like the Top 10 museums & galleries, Top 10 markets, Top 10 Arts & Crafts, Top 10 events etc. – even the Top 10 things to avoid. That makes them very useful, and a unique approach to travel guides. I use them to decide what to do, and then use another book (or a website) to give me more detail if I need that.

This book covers, for example:
 Highlights
 Palazzo Reale, Naples
 Castel Nuovo, Naples
 Pompeii
 Capri
 Ravello
 Paestum
 Top 10 Moments in History
 Top 10 Epochs & Eras
 Top 10 Museums & Galleries
 Top 10 Museums & Galleries
 Top 10 Piazzas & Fountains
 Top 10 Walks
 Top 10 Beaches
 Top 10 Romantic Spots
 Top 10 Hidden Attractions
 Top 10 Children’s Attractions
 Top 10 Neapolitan Dishes
 Top 10 Neapolitan Souvenirs

The book in its physical format is small - just small enough to fit inside a DL envelope (i.e. the standard white envelope, designed to accept a sheet of A4 paper folded twice). It is actually a few centimetres shorter than a DL envelope. This compact size makes it easy to fit into your pocket.

This book can’t provide detail – it can provide `the big picture'. I now normally take two travel guides with me – a DK Top 10 one like this and a detailed travel guide, to get the best of both worlds. If you just have a detailed travel guide, you can miss out on things that you wish you had visited.

On a separate issue, I originally bought my Top 10 books in the Kindle format (because I am a Kindle lover) and to my surprise found the Kindle format terribly irritating. It taught me that when using a travel guide, you want to be able to flick quickly through it and jump around easily - that's SO much easier with a physical book. In addition, you want it to be in colour - you can cure that by taking your iPad with you but an iPad is bigger and heavier than this book in its paperback version. You can get round that if you have an iPad mini or a large screen smartphone (neither of which I had when I bought this) but you are still left with the problem of being unable to flick around the book quickly. Travel guides just don't work well in the Kindle format, in my opinion.

You may feel otherwise but that is how I feel. I found the relative awkwardness in flicking around the Kindle book a major handicap. And this is despite the fact that I buy most of my books in Kindle format.

The beauty of these books is that they give you an overview, which means that you end up doing things that you would not have done otherwise.
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on 9 October 2009
We had booked a package holiday to Sorrento in September and I wanted a travel guide to give information on the area. I should have realised from the title that the travel guide focused on Naples and, in fact, gave very little information on the surrounding area. We did visit Naples, so it was of some use, but not for our visits to the local historic sites and the Amalfi Coast where the information was very limited or non-existent.
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on 18 July 2009
A very good handy little guide- though at times would have liked a bit more info but you can't have everything. Good '10 best' lists from shops, museums and restaurants. Very pleased with purchase.
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on 13 July 2013
A great, basic handbook. Tells you all the detail you need to know about Naples and the surrounding area. Accurate. Good suggestions for places to eat etc. It is quite brief, however, and so necessarily only covers the main attractions. A more detailed guide would be good as backup. The tear-out map is better than the one the Naples tourist information centre give out!!!!
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