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Suggested Italy Guide Books

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Book TitleComments

Rick Steve's Italy 2003
  All the fabled attractions of Italy in this pocket sized guide book. Rick Steves' provides you with a list of the best and cheapest places to stay including up to date prices, addresses and phone numbers. He also provides a good synopsis of what the worth while sites are as well as a quick history of the sites. The book also provides a list of recommended restaurants and connections in between cities.
   I like this guide book because it combines accommodations, attractions, connections and restaurants all in one convenient, pocket sized book that is easy to carry around.

Italy : Green Guide (5th Ed)
by Michelin
  The Michelin Green Guide series provides tourist information as well as mini tours for just about every tourist attraction that you can think of in Italy. Very useful if you want to set out on your own and find the romantic, hole in the wall places that other guide books ignore. Also provides maps and a fairly accurate rating system of the sites. I enjoy the detailed descriptions of towns and areas that it has as well as the detailed mini tours it contains for most sites.

The Rough Guide to
Italy, 4th edition
  Provides useful information about places that Rick Steves misses. Good as a supplemental guide for those who plan to go to sites not mentioned in Rick's book. However it would be best to photocopy from this comprehensive guide and take just the places you plan to go. It also appears to be hard to get a hold of. Also, I noticed that the info can get out of date in Rough Guides.

Lonely Planet Guide
to Italy
  Some people like this guide book over the Rough Guide. Both provide extended hotel listings plus historical and cultural information.
City + Regional Guides
Rick Steves' Rome City guide by Rick Steves for this terrific city. Includes hotel listing, site ratings and self guided tours the major sites.
Rick Steves' Florence There are cities then there is Florence. This city is a great place to visit and an terrific home base for exploring central Italy. This guide includes sites in the city, hotel listings and most importantly, tours of the major sites.
Rough Guide Rome Rough Guide book focusing on this imperial city.
Rough Guide Florence City guide by Rough Guide focusing one of the best art cities in Europe
Lonely Planet:Venice When Europe was in the middle ages, Venice was a powerhouse trading with the east and bringing back the Byzantine style to this terrific city.
Lonely Planet:Florence Terrific art, great culture. Those are the words that often describe this great city.
Lonely Planet:Tuscany Tuscany is the part of Italy that I liked the best. Great hill towns, terrific food friendly people.
Green Guide For Rome
by Michelin
  Provides detailed information and tours of this famous and historical Roman City. Pocket sized, and easy to take with you, you can get a feel for Rome before you go and then take the guide with you as a personal tour guide. Contains maps of the sites as well as detailed descriptions.
Michelin Green Guide:
Sicily
  Like the other Michelin Green Guides, provides clear, concise, helpful information about the "island" of Sicily as well as info about its culture and history.

Michelin Green Guide :
Tuscany
  Tuscany refers to the hill region in between Florence and Rome. In this region are numerous little hill towns that are unique in character and atmosphere. This guide provides descriptions of all of the worth while towns to visit. It also rates the towns very accurately. It also provides mini tours of the major ones. This is a good supplement to other guide books because it lets you plan in advance what towns in Tuscany you want to see.

Michelin Green Guide :
Venice
  Following the common theme, the Green Guide of Venice provides helpful information, tours, maps, for Venice and its satellite islands. Gives detailed descriptions of all the worth while sites in this romantic city. Provides detailed maps and information about the buildings of this great city. Provides mini tours for major sites. Also the he alphabetical organization of sights and monuments is handy for those who don't like the structured "walking tour" approach.
Other Guide Books

These guide books seem popular but I have never read them so I can not give any feedback on them.
Let's Go Italy Lets go seems to be the bible for college grads blitzing Europe. They seem to like it, though I like the ones above better.
Let's Go Rome Many people found "Let's Go" to be a bit large and confusing. I guess they are trying to keep in the market by doing city guides.
Eyewitness Italy Many people like this book because of its detailed pictures. It lets you know what to expect before you get there.
Eyewitness Rome Good to get an idea of what you'll see when you get there.
Eyewitness Florence and Tuscany Great guide to the art you will(must) see in this city! Its nice to know what your looking at in advance.
Eyewitness Venice See above comments.
Eyewitness Milan and the lakes See above comments. I like the pics but other books have better places to stay. Good info on the Lake Como area.
Fodor's Italy Since these guides seem popular.
Fodor's Rome Since these guides seem popular.
City Secret's: Rome See the hidden Rome.

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