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Rick Steves' Pocket Rome Paperback – May 3 2011

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Paperback, May 3 2011
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; Fol Poc Pa edition (May 3 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598803816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598803815
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 11.4 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #142,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Rick Steves has spent 100 days every year since 1973 exploring Europe. Rick produces a public television series (Rick Steves' Europe), a public radio show (Travel with Rick Steves), and a podcast (Rick Steves' Audio Europe) ; writes a bestselling series of guidebooks and a nationally syndicated newspaper column; organizes guided tours that take thousands of travelers to Europe annually; and offers an information-packed website ( With the help of his hardworking staff of 70 at Europe Through the Back Door-in Edmonds, Washington, just north of Seattle-Rick's mission is to make European travel fun, affordable, and culturally broadening for Americans.

Gene Openshaw is a writer, composer, tour guide, and lecturer on art and history. Specializing in writing walking tours of Europe's cultural sights, Gene has co-authored eight of Rick's books and contributes to Rick's public television series. As a composer, Gene has written a full-length opera (Matter), a violin sonata, and dozens of songs. He lives near Seattle with his daughter, and roots for the Mariners in good times and bad.

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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By samantha on July 23 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rick Steves pocket tours are the best----he leads you to the best places to eat, sleep and explore. Away often from tourists. I love his walking tours and his plans for covering several locations in one day. He is aware of cost and offers great suggestions. You will experience the culture and flavour of the city/country. You will learn a great deal and at the same time fell like a local.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By echarm on Sept. 9 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best!
Some of the Best travel info and advise out there. Period.
Where to go, what to see, where to stay & eat....and great, descriptive maps.
When you are travelling, you always want to make the most
of your time and you just can't go wrong with such experienced practical advise.
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By Irish Rose on May 3 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So much to see in Rome-didn't use it as much as I thought I would.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 135 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Practical information Aug. 31 2013
By Summerroll - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rick Steves is one of the most popular series of guides to travel. We were in Rome for 4 days this summer, and used the book as a quick reference guide. The organization of the book is much like the other guides. It is about 4.5 by 6 inches, 230 pages or so. The first pages of introduction gives a synopsis of the major tourist areas: Vatican City, North Rome, Pantheon, Trastevere, Ancient Rome, Pilgrim's Rome, South Rome, and Termini. The Daily Reminder gives a succinct overview of special hours for attractions on different days of the week. On Sundays, for instance, the Vatican Museums are closed. Many sights are closed on Mondays, including the Capitolini Museum, the Borghese Gallery, Ostia Antica, etc. The guide also lists major sights with its rating of importance: those with three triangles, likes the Colosseum, the Forum, the Vatican, and the Borghese Galleries, are rated three triangles for "Don't Miss."

The back of the book includes a detailed map of Rome with Metro stops. Romans rely less on the underground than on above-ground trams and buses. One of the huge short-comings of the guidebook is the lack of a bus map and schedule. The buses generally come every 15-25 minutes. It can be annoyingly hot in August to be waiting in full sun for the buses. The Roman bus stops have a detailed listing of the stops for each line, but it is impossible to figure out which buses to take unless you ask someone. Fortunately the Romans are such generous and friendly people that they generally help poor tourists out. The map of Rome is not very useful for walking. The smaller streets are not shown. The Trastevere area is not shown in entirety. There are free maps distributed in hotel lobbies that are superior to the one in the book.

The remainder of the book contains several walking tours of major sites: Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Night Walk across Rome, Vatican Museum, St. Peter's Basilica, the Borghese Gallery. In general, the tours hit the highlights of each sight, but few details are given. We traveled with children and were prepared for Museum Fatigue ("You promised, TWO churches only today," said my son). Therefore, for the best sights, we actually had private tour guides through a tour company. It was invaluable to our enjoyment.

Note: this is a brief and populist guide. It is good for an overview, but not for any kind of detailed historical or academic treatise of the major sights. For this kind of information, I recommend doing research before your trip on the internet, as each major sight has a website. As well, the Blue Guides will bring more life to the tours. The tour companies are expensive, but allowed us to bypass long, hot lines for the major attractions. Our tour guide was an archeologist who happened to be a great speaker. The children were vastly entertained, and she was familiar with all the SHADY spots on the tour.

We did not use this book for restaurant recommendations or hotels. We used a Tripadvisor city app: take the recommendations with a grain of salt, as they are not always unbiased.

So, why a guide book and not a smartphone app? Smart phone apps (maps, Tripadvisor, etc.) have an advantage in that your GPS location is available, and the distance to various sights can be accurately estimated. However, smartphones are difficult to see in the sun, and the information you want is not always easily searchable. It would be cool, for example, to wear Google Glass and have it link to Wikipedia. Great, but it's way cheaper to buy a $10 book.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
handy resource when walking around the city Dec 29 2011
By Smitty - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the larger Rick Steves books are better for getting a deeper understanding of the location and for more detail on hotels and restaurants, they get heavy to carry during the day unless one has very big pockets. This is not a replacement for Rick's larger books but an excellent supplement to them. I carried it in my pocket all day during our week in Rome and referred to it often.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Must have for Rome! Oct. 29 2011
By A. Jeppson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was our favorite Rick Steves book so far! So helpful and informative. We were traveling with our 3 young children and it provided great info on saving time avoiding lines, when to see certain sights. A couple good eating suggestions. We didn't use a guide for anything and got great info from Steve!!! I went ahead and ordered his London pocket guide after this.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Rick Steves' funny, practical guide book April 7 2012
By Kevin N. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You've seen his programs on PBS. His guide books are like that. Funny, easy and full of helpful tips. This pocket sized book is just right for carrying on bus or metro and even comes with a glued-on map of the center of Rome. Book has rating system for must see items(3 triangles), i.e. Colosseum, Vatican Museum, etc. to "worthwhile only if you can make it" (1 triangle) like Capitol Hill, Arch of Constantine,... Spanish Steps at Piazza di Spagna and Trevi Fountain are included in this "take it or leave it" category because they are teen hangouts. However, they are included in the roughly 1 mi. "Night Walk Across Rome" which is a really nice walk through the neighborhoods. There are ancient structures everywhere you look if you are in the center of town so walking is best. Public transit (buses, metro trains) is good and costs 1 euro with a 75 min. transfer. Book also has restaurant recommendations by neighborhoods, a real plus.

In short, this is a perfect travel pocket guide for a visit to Rome. If you are a historian or art major, you already know more than what this guidebook can offer except for the restaurant and lodging tips. And as a reminder, pickpockets are active in Rome. Other than that, streets are safe.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Good basic guide Oct. 20 2011
By George S. Leibson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like all his books it is arranged clearly and has good advice on general tourist matters - local customs, transportation, dining, etc. For individual sites and sights, he gives a very cursory overview of the highlights, so there are many things that are skipped over and another guide is needed to appreciate a museum collection or architectural marvel. Still, it is compact and easy to use and focuses on the absolute "must sees".

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