Most helpful positive review
Frommer's Is The Best Travel Companion!
on August 10, 2003
I began using Frommer's travel books/guides in the 1970s, for Central and South America, and Europe. They were my favorite guide books then, and are still the best, providing clear, concise information for the traveler, with a predominately midlevel budget range. All their books, however, usually contain excellent low-budget suggestions, as well as information provided for luxury accommodations. With that endorsement, I most highly recommend "Frommer's Italy." I have lived in Rome, but that was 20 years ago, and on a glorious return trip to Italy early last spring, I found the updated guide even more informative than the one I used so long ago.
"Frommer's Italy" provides a wide range of suggested accommodations, from budget to luxury, and I decided, before my trip, on a lovely pensione in Rome, which was my "base of operations." I made reservations, by telephone, a month in advance and found the place, and the price, to be exactly as described, along with the excellent service. Frommer's suggested trattorias became my favorites, and the pensione owners also made some excellent suggestions. I selected my lodgings in Firenze, Venice, Naples, Milan and Palermo from Frommer's, as well, and although I clearly preferred some over others, I was comfortable at all. The information in the guide was accurate in all cases. My ideas for day trips, from each of these cities, were based on a combination of past experience, the advice of friends and Frommer's suggestions. Frommers had the best and most original information about off-the-mainstream places of interest, including festivals, fairs, markets, shopping, entertainment, nightlife, etc.
The fold-out country map, and city maps are extremely easy to follow. I have the world's worst sense of direction, and never got lost - even on my own, original walking tour of the winding streets of Venice.
All of the many magnificent things to see in Italy, each city's major attractions, the museums, churches and galleries are obviously included. It is the selection of lesser known sites, and out-of-the-way itineraries that makes this guide so special. I have read that some people find the book to be too big or bulky. I find it to be just right, and never needed to refer to another guide during my entire trip.
For before trip preparation, you may wish to brush-up on Italian history, art, the Renaissance - whatever your area(s) of interest. If so, you will do well to look at books specifically on the topics of your choice. Frommer's does provide a BRIEF nine pages of historical information. It may be sufficient for your needs, but I think it worth mentioning here.
Overall, this is the Best book to take, especially if you plan to take only one, to assist you in enjoying the glories of Italy, past and present!