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Errors of fact, lacking in detail
on 24 September 2014
Errors of fact, omissions and lack of detail make this guide book the most irritating I have ever purchased from the Lonely Planet series. I recently purchased a last minute deal to Venice, and so, not having time to wait for Amazon delivery, picked up this in a high street book shop after having a quick flick through. In general, it highlights the main sites, it has a separate map (but all guide books do that). Here are the main issues I have with it.
There are no instructions from Treviso airport. Although this isn't the closest airport to Venice, it is a viable option and also cheap and easy to get to Venice from (only taking about 15 minutes longer than from Marco Polo). This guidebook doesn't even mention it exists.
The separate map is made out of very thin paper. In walking from Piazzalle Roma to my hotel in the Dorsoduro, I'd manage to tear it slightly in two places, not just at the edge, simply by folding it.
The maps in the book are inaccurate. Not so much as to get you completely lost but enough to make it extremely annoying. Between the bus stop and my hotel, one of the larger canals looked as though it only had one bridge (which would have made a 15 minute diversion necessary), however, by that point I'd lost my place on the map and it's only as I crossed the same canal for the fourth time I became certain the map was wrong. Some of the road names are missing or incorrect. This is a difficult task in Venice I admit but it's difficult when in a new place, looking for a road name and thinking you have the right one but it not matching the map. Only when you start off down that alley does the name change half way down and you realise the map had omitted this. I felt, after deciding I could no longer face St Mark's Square any longer, I 'should' see the bridge of sighs. Only on my return when I had wi-fi did I work out, I'd walked past it. Again, not on the map.
Now I interchange 'alley' and 'road' which in Venice makes sense. This leads to my third point. There is no basic info about Venice. No warning, particularly for lone female travellers to gird yourselves that you will be spending a lot of time in alleyways but it's not necessarily as nerve wracking as you might imagine. Would be helpful. Also it's the first guidebook I've ever had with no section on the history of the place. Why? As I said, my trip was last minute and I was yearning to know more about the place.
There are other errors of fact too. Traghetto are not listed as only being for locals (which the signs certainly seemed to indicate, it also said it was 50 cents and it was actually 2 euros). The opening times of the market were wrong. The naval museum was listed as 1.55 euros, that's only for locals.
A bit more information on top tips would be nice. For example, wearing masses of mosquito repellent! Obvious information in retrospect but I saw loads of tourists with bitten legs.
And to be honest, it did very little to help you avoid the nightmare of the tour ship crowd in Venice either which is what makes the experience of visiting a little less pleasant.
All in all, as this was only written in 2014, a very, very disappointing turn out for the Lonely Planet books.