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Rick Steves' Italy 2008 Paperback – September 28, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves (Book 2008)
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; Revised edition (September 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566918618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566918619
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,590,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick Steves is on a mission: to help make European travel accessible and meaningful .

Customer Reviews

Rick Steves Italy is a great travel guide.
Monica Walker
We used this book on our recent trip to Italy and it saved us a lot of Time and Money.
Aarthi Sundararajan
I highly recommend this book for any one who is traveling to Europe.
Gretchen Farrar Foley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Righthalf on November 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
Not quite a tourists' yellow pages nor quite a piece of literature on Italian history, Rick Steves' Italy 2008 had everything (almost) we wanted and nothing we didn't in order to plan and execute our first Italy trip. My wife and I used this book for preparing our trip and found ourselves carrying it everywhere we went during the trip.

From form factor to content organization, the book reflects a certain level of maturity in writing and editing a travel book. The names of hotel and restaurant owners provided the much needed personal touch and ice breaker; little side notes minimize surprises due to benign mistakes that have a way of ruining good vacations; current information on trains, tours, hours, fees, phone numbers and maps take away the need to collect flyers as soon as you get to a new place. The book seems to have the right mix of information and opinion.

Don't use the book as a guided-tour replacement at museums. Information about Tuscany is minimal and sub-par compared to rest of Italy. Focused tourists (say second time Italy visitors) may not get everything they are looking for. For hotel reservations, we cross-checked the book's suggestions with consumer reviews on and found that to be very useful. Other than that, you should be pretty well covered.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Monica Walker on October 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rick Steves Italy is a great travel guide. When I first received it, I was a bit skeptical due to the fact that it was not as visually appealing as were other books I received on the same subject. Once I began reading the book, I was very much surprised as to how much detail and very important information the book provided. Examples of this are locations of where to be carefull of thieves to the exact street corner. Also, the book gave great detail on restaurants, hotels, and what to see including how to find them, who to ask for, and hours of operation, which helps in planning. Many other travel guides do not go into such detail. In my opinion, I would purchase as an example Fromers guide, and then in addition to that purchase Rick Steves as you will get much more detailed information about all the little things that make a difference in traveling to a city you have never been to.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W. Driver on February 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
We are still in the planning process of our trip, but so far Rick Steve's book has been great. It is easy to read and organized in a user friendly manner. The size is small enough I can carry it around on our trip and use it as a quick reference. I used his 2006 England book with great success and believe the Italy book is going to be just as useful!

I also bought Frommer's 2008 Italy and am not as pleased with it. In comparison Rick Steve's reads easier. Frommer's reads like a dense textbook. There is almost too much information. Also, Rick Steve's offers complete museum tours so you don't have to buy the audioguides. All the information is in his book and tells you the best path to take. He also does walking tours so you can enjoy a free activity that really highlights a town. Frommer's just lists all the sights and leaves you to sort it out. Frommer's is definitely more inclusive than Rick Steve's; it has more towns, more hotels, more dining, and more sights, but I think it would be way to overwhelming to carry with me.

My plan is to carry Rick Steve's with me on my sightseeing, but to make some additional notes in it on stuff I found in Frommer's. All in all though, I think Rick Steve's is the better book, and if you only want to buy one, I'd buy Rick Steve's.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ling777 on September 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
My girlfriend and I got this guide after reading some pretty good reviews here about Rick Steves' Italy. Rick Steves provided money saving tips like the Roma Pass which was useful and helped us saved time and money. His tip to call and reserve tickets with the galleries was a handy shortcut and allowed us to skip the queues. We saved some money by showing this book to a few hotels and restaurants too.

Little did we know that the poorly hand-drawn maps were to lead us in merry-go-rounds around Milan, Florence, Rome and Venice. Some of the recommended restaurants like Dante's Pizzatoria in Florence and Princi's at Milan were outright dishonest and rude. On top of that, the written directions to several places were vague. For example, we were unable to locate a recommended hotel in Venice listed on the guide even after two hours of relentless search.

To be fair to Rick, his information on Ferry transfer and train information were largely helpful. However, it would have been preferred if Rick had included cultural pointers for Asians. Having said this, we would like to prepare Asian or non-European travelers heading to Florence to handle their unique form of hospitality. Please note that our experiences at the city were less than pleasant.

We recommend that you get a proper map along with this book or have a look at Fodor's Italy 2008.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Don't buy this if you expect to find information on the southern Italian mainland.

The map at the front of this book sums up its disappointing lack of coverage of southern Italy. The map stops at the Amalfi coast and does not show the "foot" part of the country. Rick Steves' Italian mainland ends at a line drawn between Paestum and Manfredonia. So .... no Lecce, no Matera, no Otranto - there's absolutely nothing on Puglia. Truncated map = truncated coverage.

The title should be "Rick Steves Most of Italy 2008".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. As host and writer of the popular public television series Rick Steves' Europe, and best-selling author of 40 European travel books, he encourages Americans to travel as "temporary locals." He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe -- and Europeans -- for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.

Over the past 20 years, Rick has hosted over 100 travel shows for public television, and numerous pledge specials (raising millions of dollars for local stations). His Rick Steves' Europe TV series is carried by over 300 stations, reaching 95 percent of U.S. markets. Rick has also created two award-winning specials for public television: Rick Steves' European Christmas and the ground-breaking Rick Steves' Iran. Rick writes and co-produces his television programs through his company, Back Door Productions.

Rick Steves also hosts a weekly public radio program, Travel with Rick Steves. With a broader approach to travel everywhere, in each hour-long program Rick interviews guest travel expert, followed by listener call-ins. Travel with Rick Steves airs across the country and has spawned a popular podcast. Rick has also created a series of audio walking tour podcasts for museums and neighborhoods in Paris, Rome, Florence and Venice (with more tours, including London, coming in 2010).

Rick self-published the first edition of his travel skills book, Europe Through the Back Door (now updated annually), in 1980. He has also written more than 40 other country, city and regional guidebooks, phrase books, and "snapshot" guides. For several years, Rick Steves' Italy has been the bestselling international guidebook sold in the U.S. In 2009, Rick tackled a new genre of travel writing with Travel as a Political Act, reflecting on how a life of travel has broadened his own perspectives, and travel can be a significant force for peace and understanding in the world. Rick's books are published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

In addition to his guidebooks, TV and radio work, Rick is a syndicated newspaper columnist with the Tribune Media Services. He appears frequently on television, radio, and online as the leading authority on European travel.

Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. By the time he reached 18, Rick jokes, "I realized I didn't need my parents to travel!" He began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started Europe Through the Back Door (ETBD), a business which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a well-traveled staff of 70 full-time employees. ETBD offers free travel information through its travel center, website (, European Railpass Guide, and free travel newsletters. ETBD also runs a successful European tour program with more than 300 departures -- attracting around 10,000 travelers -- annually.

Rick is outspoken on the need for Americans to fit better into our planet by broadening their perspectives through travel. He is also committed to his own neighborhood. He's an active member of the Lutheran church (and has hosted the ELCA's national video productions). He's a board member of NORML (working to reform marijuana laws in the USA). And Rick has provided his local YWCA with a 24-unit apartment building with which to house homeless mothers.

Rick Steves spends about a third of every year in Europe, researching guidebooks, filming TV shows, and making new discoveries for travelers. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

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