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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 12 reviews
on March 2, 2013
Book arrived in excellent shape and will be used extensively in June when we travel to Italy and stay in Rome for several days.
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on January 24, 2012
I took a copy of Blue Guide borrowed from the library to Rome with me in December and when I returned, I knew I had to own it! The not overwhelming summary of more than two millenia of Roman history is invaluable, and the detailed cataloging of the art found in the churches and pre-christian sites whetted my appetite and deepened my understanding of the wonders I was seeing. For example, my visit to the Church of San Clemente would not have been as meaningful without the Blue Guide's detailed explanation of the three levels of the church, the lowest of which is an ancient Mithraic Temple. i also appreciated the reference to Vasari's attribution of the frescos in the Chapel of Saint Catherine to Masaccio. The site maps contained in 'The Blue Guide were also most helpful. The Blue Guide is a true treasure.
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on December 21, 2009
The Blue Guide series published by Norton are excellent travel guides. Chocked full of useful and interesting information, they remain my favorite for travel anywhere.
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on September 4, 2007
The Blue Guides are all stellar tools and this one was a gem this Summer.
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on July 7, 2007
On his website, travel guru Rick Steves says that Blue Guides take "a dry and scholarly approach to the countries of Europe. They're ideal if you want to learn as much about history, art, architecture, and culture as you possibly can." This is basically true, though I much prefer a "dry and scholarly" tone to Rick's "nerdy and precious" style. He's great when it comes to practical tips, but he can't touch the historical, artistic and architectural content of the Blue Guides.

Blue Guides pack a tremendous amount of information into their pages, much more than any other guide I've used. They're wonderful for reading before and after your trip, but they're probably too dense to pack and take along for most people. Before leaving on my honeymoon to Italy, I photocopied the relevant pages of the Northern Italy book to avoid having to pack it because I knew I wouldn't be visiting most of the cities it covers. On that trip I field-tested three guides: Rick Steves, Eyewitness, and Blue Guide.

Blue Guides are not good to use as your main guide. They're far too light on practical matters such as maps, directions, hotels and restaurants, and they're not updated every year. I used Eyewitness to plan and get around and then pulled out the Blue Guide once I reached a major site. I used Rick Steves so little and found him so unhelpful that I left his books behind in hotels along the way.

Blue Guides have come a long way over the years. I was given an older edition of the Rome guide many years ago, and I couldn't believe how small the print was; it had a lot of detail but would have been very difficult to use while traveling. The publishers have learned their lesson: the current edition of the Rome guide is far easier to use and much more attractive, with colorful maps and an easier-to-read format. They've improved on the practical aspects as well, but you'll probably be in trouble if you rely on this book to get around in Rome. I recommend packing a more comprehensive one-volume guide such as Eyewitness and using Blue Guide to learn about specific sites once the other guide gets you to them. Keep Blue Guide on your shelf as an attractive reference and let it inspire you to return to Rome in the future!
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on February 12, 2007
Unlike the usual guidebook, the blue guide provides an incredibly indepth look at each place in Rome you might visit. This is not a "visual" guide like the DK series, but a text with pages of description. Some excellent maps of the interior of sites and some beautiful pictures. I used this book along with a more traditional guidebook. Armchair travelers would appreciate this book because of the depth of the descriptions.

One disadvantage is how heavy the book is. Another potential disadvantage is the lack of "practical" info. If you want to know what the airport is like in Rome, how to travel with children, or much about hotels or restaurants, this guide is not for you. There is a brief "visitor information" section at the back, but it is very brief.
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on January 4, 2007
I have used the Blue Guides all over Europe, frequently in the older French-language versions, and have found them exceptional. My Rome Blue Guide was the 1978 version and is still very functional. However with the amazing upgrades to all of Rome for the millenium I thought I'd try this 9th edition of the Blue Guide on my second trip in 2006. It is great: better graphics, better details, better suggestions for walks and how to access museums, palazzi, the Vatican, everything. For my 3rd trip in 2006 with a group of friends who'd never visited Rome before, I left behind my 1978 edition and just took this one.
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on July 4, 2006
The best guide available for those who plan to spend a longer time in Rome. It can also be used as a reference source by art historians, architects, and archeologists. Well-structured, well-written. It's printed on high quality paper, which makes it a little too heavy to carry, but this is how such books should be published -- you wouldn't like to part with your Blue Guide at the end of your trip.
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