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City Secrets: Florence, Venice, and the Towns of Italy Library Binding – January 1, 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

... fulfills the seemingly impossible goal of providing a sophisticated guide to Florence, Venice including precious itineraries through seldom-visited treasures. -- Il Mosaico

If you require a guide more refined than rough, the City Secrets travel books may be up your alley. -- Irish Times (Dublin)

Like last year's indispensible Rome guide, the pocket-size [book] offers insider tips from artists, writers, historians and architects. -- New York magazine

Niles and Frasier Crane would love this book ... crammed with tips ... Full marks for letting words do the work ... -- The Observer (London)

“... it should be everyone’s pick to supplement any guide more devoted to the travel basics.” -- Barron's
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Product Details

  • Series: City Secrets
  • Library Binding: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Little Bookroom (June 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892145014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892145017
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrius Uzkalnis on June 18, 2002
Format: Library Binding
This series is not for everyone and in most cases not for your first trip to one of the cities covered. The City Secrets is exactly what is says: secrets - small details, curious trivia, stuff you pick up from really good tour guides who gently guide you through the city revealing tiny nuggets of local knowledge here and there. It is a very friendly book, and the style of writing - a mosaic of bits of familiarity, contributed by individuals, is very endearing. There is a feeling of warmth about this publication.
A new or casual visitor may find this thoroughness and depth of insights of the guide overwhelming. This little book is unlikely to serve as the single multi-purpose travel resource for the glorious Italian cities covered. You will probably want to supplement it with some mainstream guide (try Eyewitness, Fodor's or Frommer's, for example) - a combination like this should work very well.
Unlike with most other books, a serious traveller will probably be captivated by ALL the writing in this book and will read it back to back (does this often happen with other guides? Don't think so...) You may find yourself willing to see all the curious things mentioned in this little book; most certainly you will want more of these books published.
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Format: Library Binding
While our cousin, an art-history graduate residing in Italy, agreed that the Rome version is excellent, this book attempted to cover too much ground with few 'secrets' to spread around the different parts of Italy. Highly recommend pairing this book with a more comprehensive tour book such as the Eyewitness Guide. It was worthwhile cross-referencing the books to make sure that we cover the top sights and some less-traveled gems.
Thanks to this guide book, we enjoyed an excellent picnic packed by the suggested grocery in Radda in Chianti. We followed the book's advice to Osteria di Rendola and had an absolutely amazing lunch. This book provided some pleasant surprises for us first-time goers and gourmet lovers.
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Format: Library Binding
My family used this guide extensively while travelling in northern Italy this past summer. We found it particularly helpful in Bologna, Venice and the Portofino region. Marcella Hazan, the cookbook author, was a major contributor to the Venice section; if you want a great meal off of the beaten path in Venice, she won't lead you wrong.

I've used the NYC City Secrets guide for years so bought this before our trip. Given the large geographic area and many regions that are covered, it isn't surprising that it lacks the comprehensiveness of the NYC and Rome City Secrets guides. Although we didn't use the guide in Florence, I can see why many reviewers found it lacking for that great city. Although smaller than Rome, Florence deserves a City Secrets book of it's own.
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
I loved City Secrets: Rome, the first book in this series. It offered lots of good, insider information on that wonderful city. This sequel attempts to cover the rest of the country (or most of it-- Chianti is curiously missing), and what is offered are hits and misses. Many major cities are omitted, and the book scratches the surface in too many places. Major Disappointment.
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By A Customer on June 25, 2002
Format: Library Binding
I should have heeded the critique of one of your readers. The complaint was "after Rome the series disappoints".
However, I so loved the Rome book, carrying it about Rome, having people comment on the book when they saw me checking maps or sights, finding kindred spirits who also had the book and so on. It was truly my favorite travel guide/book of Rome.
So, ignoring advice, I ordered the Florence edition, realizing that Florence was just a part of the book...but I would never have dreamt it would be THAT small of a part.
True, Florence is much smaller than Rome, but the city is filled with so much beauty, art and architecture that surely a book dedicated to it's "secrets" would have been worth the effort.
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