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City Secrets Rome: The Essential Insider's Guide, Revised and Updated Hardcover – July 12, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review


“The best literary gift to Italian travelers since the Baedeker and Henry James.”
Financial Times

City Secrets Rome is always filled with the kind of information you would get from a friend who had spent years living in the Italian capital … After using City Secrets Rome, you’ll never want to go back to the standard guidebook.”
GQ

“This series shows each city through the eyes of those who know it best … taken together, their recommendations provide travelers with the ultimate insider’s tour. They are the hot guide … Wonderful keepsakes.”
Savvy Traveler, Public Radio International

“This idiosyncratic guide helps jaded visitors see the Eternal City anew.”
The New York Times

“Escape from the crowds and chaos can be a challenge in Rome, but help comes in the form of City Secrets Rome.”
Condé Nast Traveler

City Secrets Rome] should be everyone’s pick to supplement any guide more devoted to the travel basics”
Barron’s

“… an extraordinary resource …”
Travel and Leisure

“Architect Robert Kahn’s City Secrets Rome is full of interesting finds, even for those who know Italy well.”
Town & Country

About the Author

Robert Kahn has worked as a musician, schoolteacher, legal worker in U.S. immigration prisons, track coach, freelance writer, and newspaper reporter and editor. He studied the saxophone with Joe Allard at the Manhattan School of Music, from which he received a master's degree in performance in 1976. He is the author of the nonfiction book, Other People's Blood: U.S. Immigration Prisons in the Reagan Decade, and An Honest Thief, a novella and stories. He is news editor for Courthouse News Service.
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Product Details

  • Series: City Secrets (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Fang Duff Kahn Publishers; Second Edition edition (July 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983079501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983079507
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.3 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Susan Woodward on October 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The new City Secrets, like the old one, contains the personal opinions of many experts on the glorious things to visit in Rome. The advice is poetic and philosophical. Outstanding, nothing better, and yes, like the advice of a good friend if you had friends so well-informed. Nearly all of the recommendations for places and most of the recommendations for restaurants survive into the new edition. Some blurbs are dropped but no places are. I have never been led astray by this guide.

The new edition is fatter and slightly bigger than the old one. This is mainly due to a bigger typeface (which is darker too). The new edition is not as beautifully laid out as the old, but geez it is a lot easier to read in all but the very brightest light. So, yes, the new edition is better.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The "City Secrets" series offers a unique kind of guidebook. Rather than being written by one author, these books consist of entries by many authors, who offer their observations not only on famous monuments but also on the overlooked or unknown places and experiences found in major cities. The volume on Rome, revised and updated in 2011, is a fascinating compilation that reveals many of Rome's treasures not included in conventional travel guides.

This isn't a book for the first-time visitor to Rome. There are no illustrations--just some maps of neighborhoods. This is a volume for Rome-lovers, people who already know something of the city and who are eager to learn more. Although the book covers all the great monuments of Rome, the emphasis is on unusual or overlooked aspects of those monuments, and on places you'd never find on your own. There are also restaurant recommendations, none of which are "tourist traps," and although a few entries suggest interesting, unusual shops, shopping isn't a major focus here: art and architecture is.

The editor divided the book into 12 sections, corresponding to 11 regions of the city, plus a final chapter on the outskirts and a few sites short distances outside of Rome. In each, you'll find entries varying in length from barely more than a sentence up to 3 or 4 pages, but the length isn't dependent on the importance or popularity of the monument. Instead, it depends on the individual insights and suggestions of the author of each entry. A few are a bit too academic, like this one: "Considered the shifting point from Renaissance to Baroque, Campidoglio-- Michelangelo's landscape intervention--is a geometric organization of topography that articulates exterior space with the same precision as an interior condition." Huh???
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently visited Rome for the first time. I picked up this book along with Rick Steves' more basic guide to the city, "Rome 2012." I wouldn't try to navigate the city based on this book alone, but it was a great resource for restaurant tips and hidden spots. Our best meals and most pleasant experiences were all based on recommendations from this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As advertised in the Amazon write-up, the book features experts telling us about their favorite hidden corner, building, fountain, in a great city. Organized around specific districts, the book is easy to use. The various expert writers, provide their reasoning for their favorite, fleshed out with gratifying insights. The plain cover and size invite carrying this with you as you explore, sampling the coffee and cakes from the described small restaurants hidden away among those sights. Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
An outstanding little book. We are preparing for our fourth trip to Rome and I was looking for a book that would help us find some of the lesser known gems in the city. Boy, does this fit the bill! It's extremely well organized by neighborhood and I really like the fact that it provides the thoughts and comments of many different people.
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this different guide book has various experts scholars historians and lovers of Rome give their personal take on neighborhoods, monuments, churches, streey corners, restaurants and you name it.
quite excellent tho quite insufficient. i wouldve liked more commentaries about more places and sites. they don't cover all of rome, just the histroical center, and actually cover only a smal part of each neighborhood.
nonetheless, as an american who has lived in Rome for over 40 years i did learn some wonderful things.
for instance i learned that on Pentecost rose petals are dropped thru the oculus in the pantheon creating a most magical environment. yet no one mentioned that on April21, rome's birthday, the sun emerges from inside the pantheon lighting up the entrance. as the entrance is on the north side it is always in shadow. but the marvels of the pantheon's architecture are such that the sun which shines thru the oculus actually shines out the front on april 21 where it was encountered by the emperor hadrian who on this day the birth of rome would meet the sun in the pantheon.
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Format: Hardcover
Idiosyncratic but, if you have the time to follow some of its tips while there, a fascinatingly deeper look into mostly tourist areas of Rome. A little heavy to carry around while sightseeing, though.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After many short visits to Rome, I finally had the opportunity to spend some quality time there. This book was invaluable in the planning process and interesting in the variety of opinions from experts. I recommend it.
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