While this book is nearly 500 pages long, it still fits very compactly in your backpack and is packed with useful information! If I were you, I would DEFINITELY take this guide with me to Rome and not any other guide!
I especially LOVED:
1.) As in all Rick Steves guide books, he has detailed info on information on the nearest tourist offices; on all of Rome's major tourist spots; Rome's public transport system (with bus numbers, routes and stations that most tourists use) and alternate routes of travels; the central train station, Termini Station, which is very tourist friendly; how to get there and back; great places to eat and stay in that won't break the bank; and reliable, high quality local guides who work there and can show you around!
2.) In each of these locations, Rick outlines the main tourist spots that YOU MUST visit while you are there and also gives very helpful, detailed and humorous blurbs about each of these places and with helpful maps and directions on how to get there through all means of transport. I especially love reading his blurbs on each of Rome's must-see archaeological sights, long after I had visited them!
3.) Rome is a MASSIVE city and it can take hours to walk around or explore, which can become very exhausting in the hot and dusty streets of a proper Roman summer. So, he helpfully points out the major sites that one must see at large places like the Trastavere neighborhood, the massive Vatican musuem and etc! In this way, you can save on precious and limited time and energy, by seeing the places that must be seen and appreciated, while skipping over the rest that is not too crucial. Moreover, he also gives his opinions on each of the tourist spots, listing them from a ranking beginning with 3 triangles which means " A MUST SEE" to a one triangle!
4.) It has loads of helpful tips and hints designed to make your travelling as easy, stress free and as safe as possible. For example: emergency numbers to their ambulance, police and hospitals! I definitely could rest a lot easier knowing that I had these information on hand, if by some misfortune, I had to use it.
5.) It has a dictionary of key Italian words and phrases that one would use as a tourist, such as ordering at a restaurant or cafe! I definitely made good use of the phrases from this guide, until they became almost second-nature.
I LOVED this epic tome of a guide! I would highly recommend to read this BEFORE you go on any Italian adventure, so that you have an orientation and prior knowledge of the places that you will be visiting!
Having this guide definitely made my journey a lot more stress free & saved the time that we otherwise would've spent in searching for places (for example, we used Rick's accurate directions on how to walk to the Pantheon from Piazza de Largo Argentina & we got there in no time), since I had the info I needed readily at my fingertips and it almost felt like having an experienced and helpful traveler friend with us! This aspect very much enhanced the enjoyment of my unforgettable Italian trip! Have fun my fellow travellers!