Frommer's guide books have become a standard of excellence in presenting good, easy to use, reliable information for the traveler. These guides are not for those seeking hostels, cheep eats & sleeps and/or backpacking. Frommer's have target those in the mid to upper price range. Case-in- point, "Frommer's Italy 2001" at the front of the guide lists the 'best luxury hotels' and the 'best moderately priced hotels' , but skips a mention of the best budget hotels.
After using Frommer's for two weeks I found the recommendations to be right on the money (accurate, concise, and informative - listing some of the best selections in the areas). The maps in major metropolitan areas (Rome, Florence, Venice, but not Milan!) are graphically laid-out with restaurants and accommodations numerically located each on a separate map (this really helps).
A separate large folding map of Italy is attached at the back of the book, is a nice addition indeed. The color photo plates are superb, and especially helpful is the thin chapter "Online Directory" that lists a useful scattering of websites to help you plan your travel. Very impressive is that most of the listed accommodations have website and e-mail address. If you get a chance check out [...] and [...]
On the short side, but not a significant deterrent, Frommer's gives only nine pages to introduce you to 3000+ years of Italian history, and covers Italy's art, architect, culture and food in twenty one pages (30 pages total). Safety, especially thief and robbery is scantily mentioned in the guide and not even listed in the Index, (Italy has the highest rate of thief and robbery in Europe - See US State Department warning). These points set aside, this is a great guide for Italy and ranks at the top. Highly Recommended.