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Lonely Planet Italy Paperback – March 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Lonely Planet
  • Paperback: 968 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 10 edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741798515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741798517
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The Lonely Planet guide to Italy is a very impressive book.
Sheri Fogarty
The maps are so small they are practically unusable, and flipping around from section to section is not as easy as I had hoped.
Chef Sandy
Has relevant information regarding places to visit and restaurant etc. .
Maria Rubino

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 82 people found the following review helpful By korova on March 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The 2012 edition of Lonely Planet's guide to Italy mostly lives up to LP's usual standards. The guide contains a blend of practical advice, historical facts, travelers' stories, and inspiring photographs. It is the sort of guide that can be used both for trip planning and for taking along on the trip itself.

Those who are unfamiliar with Lonely Planet should know a few things before purchasing this book:
* LP targets independent, do-it-yourself types of travelers (who often have backpacks, railpasses, and youth hostel cards).
* Travelers who are focused on staying in top-ranked hotels and eating at expensive restaurants probably won't find LP's sleeping and eating recommendations to be very useful.
* Most LP guides that cover large regions, including this one, are written by a team of contributors.
* New editions of a guide usually are updates of previous versions and are not entirely rewritten from scratch.

So, how useful is this guide to Italy? As with most things, it depends. If you want to travel around Italy in DIY style or you want better coverage of cultural and outdoor activities than is offered by more mainstream guides, such as Fodor's or Frommer's, then LP is a good guidebook for you. On the other hand, if you aren't interested in straying off the beaten path much, the LP ethos may not be a good fit for you.

Also, if you are only visiting a single region or just a couple of cities, this guide might be overkill because it covers the entire country. There are plenty of city and regional guides from LP and other guidebook publishers that will cover, say, Rome or Sicily in much greater detail than a national guide and omit several hundred pages of information you won't need.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Silvester Percival VINE VOICE on April 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a thorough, attractive, useful guidebook printed in all color with many attractive maps and photographs.

I briefly read through some of the other reviews and was struck by how experienced some of them seem to be with guidebooks. I write on the basis of more limited experience. I have traveled (and lived in) the UK and taken one trip through Italy, Greece, and Turkey. I wish I had had this guidebook then. It's very nice and easy to read and much more useful than what I had for my trip.

The book itself covers the whole of Italy, making its coverage broader and less detailed about any specific place. The material is organize by region, typically with several cities, or a province, or region, being grouped together in a chapter. Each chapter then opens with several basic issues. Subheadings read such things as "Why Go?", "When to Go", "Navigating Venice", "Best Freebies", "Fast Facts", and so on. The following page has a map of the region, showing (in this example) Venice in relation to the Verona Wine Country further inland. There is a brief history and then, from there, the book describes all of the sites, places to eat, and other attractions that a visitor might want to see.

One other reviewer said that most recent LP changes were attempts to win back some of the younger market from the internet. Personally I find a book like this much preferable to any website. The internet can be vast and complex and sometimes misleading. A guidebook like this has a manageable list of places and attractions that you can underline, highlight, mark up, and dog ear. That's just an awesome and irreplaceable thing for anyone who has ever traveled a foreign country.

Finally, a word about what kind of demographic might find this guide most useful.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Readz Alot VINE VOICE on March 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For the past several years, Lonely Planet has been tinkering with its format, presumably searching for ways to make their travel books more appealing and useful to an audience which is increasingly seeking travel advice on the internet. (Including from LP's own website.)Some of the changes have been helpful, some not, and some have just taken a little getting used to. This new edition of the Italy Guide seems to have settled into the new format, discarding or tweaking the changes which haven't worked, and keeping those that did. The result is highly recommendable guide, though one that you'll still want to supplement with some online research.

Good things include a section called "If You Like" with hints on things to see based on your particular interests (modern art, beaches, gardens, etc.), a month by month guide to important festivals, and a bonus map of Rome tucked into the back. Each regional chapter includes month-by-month weather charts (which could be easier to read) a brief summary of 'why you should go', and a decent regional map. Within the chapter, sections for each city include brief but good descriptions of local attractions, and lots of practical information. City maps, which for a while had been printed in hard-to-read-shades-of-blue are now printed in multiple colors, and much easier on the eyes.
Minor disappointments include somewhat limited selections of hotels and restaurants, with, often, very unhelpful price information. (Reading that a double room costs from 60 to 400 Euros is not much help.) Again, I assume that LP figures that most travelers will search online for more detailed hotel info. But more restaurants would have been nice.
The guide includes plenty of pictures, but they are no longer on glossy paper.
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