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Fodor's Italy 2006 (Fodor's Gold Guides) Paperback – October 4, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Buying Fodor's was almost an afterthought, as I was sure it would not contribute to our trip - we love to get off the beaten trek in our sightseeing, and then also spend part time tracking typical local customs such as agricultural, religious, culinary and artistic activities, which usually are not mentioned in guidebooks. I was really surprised to find quite a few such activities listed in Fodor's. For example, it showed us that we could join a tour demonstrating the preparation of the famous Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, and it was this book that convinced us to spend 2 full days for visiting 5 ancient villages hanging on the cliffs above the sea - the Cinque Terre. It also highlights activities that are of higher interest for children. The guide's layout is easy to navigate and inviting, and the writing never tedious. I found myself turning more and more to this book as my first source of information, and only afterwards complementing my knowledge from the others.
The downsides of the book are obvious - the hotels and restaurants mentioned are good, but the choice is rather limited, and not intended for those on a budget, or for those looking for that local neighborhood restaurant. For this, the internet (starting with sites like tripadvisor.com and virtualtourist.com) is the best source, complemented by some of the other guides mentioned above. But Fodor's is my preferred a source for the initial planning of the trip.