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Blue Guide Northern Italy: From the Alps to the Adriatic (Twelfth Edition) (Blue Guides) Paperback – July 17, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Blue Guides
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Guides Limited of London; Twelfth Edition edition (July 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393327302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393327304
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #962,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Blanchard has written Blue Guide Northern Italy and Blue Guide Southern Italy. Born in Amsterdam, New York, he has lived in Italy for more than thirty years.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Aquila on July 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On his website, travel guru Rick Steves says that Blue Guides take "a dry and scholarly approach to the countries of Europe. They're ideal if you want to learn as much about history, art, architecture, and culture as you possibly can." This is basically true, though I much prefer a "dry and scholarly" tone to Rick's "nerdy and precious" style. He's great when it comes to practical tips, but he can't touch the historical, artistic and architectural content of the Blue Guides.

Blue Guides pack a tremendous amount of information into their pages, much more than any other guide I've used. They're wonderful for reading before and after your trip, but they're probably too dense to pack and take along for most people. Before leaving on my honeymoon to Italy, I photocopied the relevant pages of the Northern Italy book to avoid having to pack it because I knew I wouldn't be visiting most of the cities it covers. (Be aware that this book does not include Rome, Florence, or Tuscany.) On that trip I field-tested three guides: Rick Steves, Eyewitness, and Blue Guide.

Blue Guides are not good to use as your main guide. They're far too light on practical matters such as maps, directions, hotels and restaurants, and they're not updated every year. I used Eyewitness to plan and get around and then pulled out the Blue Guide once I reached a major site. I used Rick Steves so little and found him so unhelpful that I left his books behind in hotels along the way.

Blue Guides have come a long way over the years. I was given an older edition of the Rome guide many years ago, and I couldn't believe how small the print was; it had a lot of detail but would have been very difficult to use while traveling.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joe Murray on May 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a concise guide to important art and architecture, the Blue Guide remains unbeatable. Their Northern Italy edition is superb. (The guide covers all areas north of the Tuscany, Umbria, and Marches borders.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rick Kaneen on September 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blue Guides are the perfect companion guide for anyone who wants to learn about what you are looking at and not miss something fabulous that's right next door to your hotel. Other reviewers are correct - Blue Guide is not the most comprehensive when it comes to hotels and restaurants (although there are abbrieviated recommendations) but the detail on art, architecture and history is unsurpassed. There are few if any other guides that will walk you through the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Bologna room by room, telling you what's in each , or guide you though Mantova's Palazzo Ducale with a floor plan and descriptions of every room. For example, this guide has a paragraph about each masterpiece in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Venice. This detail and attention to just about everything worth seeing is valuable in planning your trip or even in making sure, once you arrive in a city, that you aren't missing anything extraordinary. Once in Italy, reading the Blue Guide information about Mantova caused us to change our plans and visit this wonderful town on the two rivers with it's incredible Palazzo Te, the Camera degli Sposi, Sant' Andrea and other masterworks that we mkight have never found and experienced otherwise. Yeah, because they are so crammed with information, it's a pain to lug them along, but well worth the trouble. Take your Fodor's to help you figure out what hotels to stay in, but then leave it in your suitcase (or give it to a fellow traveler) and carry your Blue Guide for a true educational visit. By the way, the city guides (Rome, Florence, Venice) have excellent city maps that will not only get your around (on foot) but lable nearly all the buildings, churches,and museums you will pass on a morning jaunt around town.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. E. Allen on January 10, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Has all the information in the Baedeker Guides from the 20's and 30's but better maps and city diagrams. The best guide book for art, architecture and history available.
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