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on 23 April 2017
Going to Italy, then this is a must.
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on 23 September 2003
If you're heading off on a tour of Italy, I thoroughly recommend purchasing this book.The book proved invaluable to me, offering useful accomodation information as well as detailed maps of the places I visited.
My journey consisted of a tour of Italy's more famous cities- from Pisa to Florence, on to Rome and Napoli, down to Pompeii and Sorrento, eventually heading north to Venice. For this journey, the book was superb, although I have heared criticisms of the book if you are considering heading further off the beaten track.
All in all, I found this book indispensable while I was in Italy, and thoroughly recommend it to anyone embarking on a city tour of Italy.
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on 22 August 2009
I spent 2 weeks in Italy travelling on my own, and this book came in incredibly handy. Sometimes I found some of the advice a bit negative, but overall I found this really valuable and would recommend it.
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on 21 July 2005
This is a good guide book, as all the guide books in the series, but I did expect a bit more from it. I travelled around Italy together with my husband the summer of 2005, and we used this guide book a lot. But it is a guide book, nothing more. There are quite a bit of things that have changed since the book was last edited, but this is expected. We are planning to send the findings we did to the editor, so that it can be added or changed in the next edition, perhaps.
We felt that the book focused too much on churches, castles etc, and a lot of really interesting things were missed - like the local food markets, which we love to visit. There wasn't much of "different" or "special" recommendations, it was just focusing on the "What to see if you are a tourist", while what you remember are the things "sticking out". You can only look at so many churches during three weeks...
You could also find that the author(s) recommended one area in the top part of a column, but further down it was the other way around. It was obvious that the text was not written by one person only, but by several, and then compiled into one lump of text. I was aware that several people helped writing the book, and for a guide book I believe that is good, but the texts should be kept separate. Now it became very obvious at times that two people with different opinion had written parts of one text.
These guidebooks do not at all talk about how life is for the locals, if there are any "local speciallities" in regards to food and whine etc. Considering Italy is one of the best food countries in the world, I think this is a pity!
Funny is that we actually managed to end up at one of the hotels that the book recommended, although we didn't plan for it. I didn't realise we were at the recommended place until the day after we checked in. Some parts I might want to read more carefylly next time... It was an excellent little place, though, and we really enjoyed it!
So, in short: Get this guide book, but don't let it be your only guide, make sure you stop by the local touristinfo and pick up some info as well! And have fun in Italy!
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on 21 February 2001
I found this book to be quite insightful especially when describing the history of a particular place or region. Italy is a varied a vast country which is hard to some up in one book...but this certainly makes a good attempt.
I found it very useful when visiting cities and sourcing food and accommodation. The recommendations were excellent!
V.good with details pertaining to travel ie. trains, buses, planes etc.
Just lacking a little when getting into the ares which are off the beaten track but will give a very good indication of what is on offer when visiting Italy.
I would reccommend to tuck this into your backpack.
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Italy is a country steeped in ancient culture and, for the most part, it is a combination of that culture - both ancient and modern, the countryside and the people which visitors come to see. As with any foreign country, the visitor needs a guide book - especially one which is so well written it simply exudes ideas about where to go and what to visit. This book really is the only guide you will ever need.

By comparison to other guide books, I found this one far easier to follow. It really is user friendly. Just as France is far more than Paris and the Eiffel Tower, so Italy is also far more than Rome and the Coliseum and this book will give you the broadest possible outline for each of the main towns and cities in addition to the more famous attractions.

In my own case, I am often in some seaport looking for shipwrecks. Whilst the ships themselves are not included, almost all the local facilities are there to be found.

In short; Thoroughly recommended. Just make certain you purchase the latest edition.

NM
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on 9 November 2013
Having tried different travel books, my preference is for the lonely planet series. I like the writing style, the format and the detail. It is difficult to do justice to any country in any travel book. As I had hoped this book gives enough detail about the key places of interest and useful explanations about the key sites. I use these books for pre-departure preparation. I usually base my itinerary on anthing which piques my interest. This is a good book for that. I have travelled twice to Italy and purchased this book to prepare a third voyage (having not used a book on the first two). The lovely photos and emotive descriptions give you the envy to visit certain places over others, and for me this is the research value of a travel book.
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on 19 October 2009
I was a bit low on cash at the time. So rather than buy the latest version, I paid a fraction of the price for a 2004 edition that was in decent condition. The Lonely PLanet guide is indeed an excellent one. I was in Italy for 7 days (2 days in Rome, 3 days in Florence and 2 days in Venice).

For starters, the guide is easy to carry about and refer to. The information within it is adequately comprehensive and very well organised. I had no trouble in getting the info I was looking for even in the rush of a bustling town square. What to do, where to stay, useful tips and even tourist annoyances (the last two sure came in handy!) to look out for make it a good read for both seasoned as well as rookie travellers. I had 6 hours to kill at the airport prior to my flight there, and this is the book that I had for company. By the time I touched down in Ferrari-land, I had formed a rough idea of what I was going to do each day....and I had an absolutely fantastic trip!

Overall, a great book. If you're a bit tight on the budget, go for it. However, I would recommend the latest edition because its got all the latest info in terms of telephone numbers, new places to stay or eat and even things to do.
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on 11 April 2000
Great if you plan on just hitting the cities of Italy-Not so good if you plan on going to the lakes or mountains. Pathetically little information given on the Lakes District.
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on 6 January 2010
I went to Italy for 9 days alone. Basically I depended on the information in this book. The introduction about the views and the transport is very helpful. Just found an error in the map of Firenza. I tried to look for a square according to the map for 30 minutes, and found out it was signed in the wrong place.
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