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Showing 1-10 of 472 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 502 reviews
on July 1, 2015
This was very useful on our recent trip to Italy. We had both the Lonely Planet phrase book and this one with us, but this is the one we ended up using. We found it easier to navigate and more comprehensive than the other. It had more information and was organized more clearly than Lonely Planet. In particular, I thought the Rick Steve's pronunciation guide was easier to follow and got me closer to the correct pronunciation than the Lonely Planet book.

However, what really tipped it over the edge was its section on health and medical care. My husband and I -- who travel frequently and rarely get sick -- contracted some kind of horrible flu/sinus infection/plague on the way out or Rome and needed to seek urgent medical consultation and care from a pharmacy on the Amalfi coast. The Rick Steves guide came to our rescue because it had more than three times the amount of health and medical vocabulary than the Lonely Planet book, which we desperately needed because we had a lot of specific symptoms to communicate and the pharmacist/doctor only spoke a few words of English. Thanks to Rick Steves, we were able to explain what was going on and get the right medical information (and medicine) to help us recover quickly. I don't know what we would have done if we had only had the Lonely Planet phrasebook to go on. We might have been given cough drops instead of antibiotics.

If you are on the fence, this is the way to go.
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on January 19, 2016
Just used this book on a recent trip to Italy and it was perfect. I speak Spanish, and studied a little bit of Italian before going, so I had a strong base for using the language, but even if you don't have a background in a Romance language, this book would still be incredibly helpful. It has phonetic spellings of all the words and phrases, which is very helpful. It also has all the necessary phrases you need for ordering food and drinks, purchasing clothing and shoes, and purchasing train and bus tickets. It has much more than that, but those were the sections I found myself using the most. I carried this with me everywhere I went and it eliminated a lot of the stress that comes with traveling to a country whose language you do not speak. Can't recommend it enough.
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on September 26, 2001
This is a nice way to start to learn "By the Phrase" Italian. Having just been to Italy, I can vouch for the generally friendly and helpful nature of most of the residents. Also, in most of the more popular tourist destinations, English is often spoken. So, if you were to work with this book and learn some of the useful, ordinary phrases, it would probably make a nice impression on the native Italians and would make you feel less like a clueless tourist. This book will not make you really fluent, nor will it teach you the real mechanics of the language. Keep in mind this a phrase based, quick start approach that is easy to read and should help the average tourist.
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on January 31, 2014
After several trips to Italy with only a few words in my Italian vocabulary, I decided to get this little guide to give myself more confidence. I find the language is not quite so difficult as I thought and this book helps with the most common situations that travelers must confront. I'm looking forward to trying out my new vocabulary on my next trip to Italy.
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on March 4, 2017
This made our trip way better. So many tourists everywhere, this helped personalize our trip. This is for the smart traveler and helps them take it all in. If you buy this you must read it and not just skim it. I was shocked how hooked up we got using this book. This is not for everyone, if you don't want to read or care about where you are and just want to zone out and have someone do everything for you, not for you. If you want to dig into this resource and explore where you are and the people and culture, take time to carry it with you and read while your walking around. Yes, this book was in our pack, pulled it out everywhere, from North to south. I can't even imagine not having this as a resource. I would have paid way more for this load of compiled info on all our stops and things to check out. Plus Rick is the best! He makes it easy for the fish out of water to find its way. Massive thanks for this fantastic resource. Also, download his audio tours, as all the cruise line tourist sprint through all the museum with their selfie stick raised high, you can sit tight and listen to all the awesome info and insight to what makes these places amazing. Thanks Rick
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on July 12, 2016
THE BEST BOOK YOU CAN HAVE IN EUROPE. Saved my life in italy, since I had not had the chance to learn enough italian beforehand, this little book was so easy to carry around and quickly look up any words that we didn't know:) It also explained all about how to get bus/metro tickets, which would have been nearly impossible to figure out otherwise. Its so useful that now I'm just using it to learn italian on my own.
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on March 12, 2014
I've only had it a few days. It contains lots of useful translations and the size is perfect (without the print being tiny). It is organized in an unusual way for my brain, so finding words and phrases quickly isn't easy. Perhaps with more use it will become more usable. The sections are all color coded, so perhaps that will help.
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on September 15, 2014
This little booklet provides the appropriate phrases for every conceivable situation; written with Rick Steves' customary humor.

Among many helpful phrases, I'm not likely to forget how to tell a taxi driver to "slow down or I'm going to throw up." lol

This covers EVERYTHING. and the booklet is small, making it easy to lug around.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
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on October 9, 2015
This book was so essential to my trip! I had listened to some phrases on tape, and done a few of the lessons on Duolingo, but realistically I didn't have the time to learn Italian before my trip. I thought the book contained all the essentials and more, and was perfectly size to fit in my travel purse. I loved that there were common phrases. While I appreciated the section dedicated to phrases for women, some of them were a little crazy, like "F*** off" and "I have a contagious disease". I just laughed those off, but I still question whether they needed to be included. I definitely had no reason to use them. Otherwise, I thought this book was perfect for my trip.
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on May 20, 2015
Perfect. I carried this around the whole trip. It was organized really well, and the phrases were very useful. I still got laughs from the Italians on my pronunciations, but it was good fun, and I got better quickly.
I also loved his pocket books for Rome, Venice, and Florence. We got one for each city we visited, and all the info was spot on - up to date, and very useful. Every recommendation he had that we did was great. We also downloaded his audio tours to listen to on our phones and I liked those as well. He hits all the relevant details without being boring and long winded.
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