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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Available
I have to confess up front. I love these books. I must have over a dozen. I really like the Paris book, and the one for Prague, and Stockholm, and South Africa, and .... You get all the detailed material similar to other great travel books plus you get great visuals. I have bought travel books from all the competitors.
I strongly prefer the book to those available...
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by J. E. Robinson

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3.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for beauty, 2 stars for usefulness
I think the title of my review wraps it all up: the eyewitness guides are a work of graphic art. Their highlight is probably the great work on the maps, both small and large scale, which are of great help as you navigate around the cities and country looking for sights. As a tool for reaching all of the sights you want to see, I would say that the Eyewitness Guide is...
Published on Nov. 7 2003 by private__


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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Available, Feb. 29 2004
By 
This review is from: Eyewitness Travel Guides Italy (Paperback)
I have to confess up front. I love these books. I must have over a dozen. I really like the Paris book, and the one for Prague, and Stockholm, and South Africa, and .... You get all the detailed material similar to other great travel books plus you get great visuals. I have bought travel books from all the competitors.
I strongly prefer the book to those available from Lonely Planet, or Frommer, or others such as Rick Steve that have zero or few photos. Michelin of course has excellent guides but the visuals are better in the DK Eyewitness Guides.
On a cold day back here in the USA (or Canada) or elsewhere, have a glass of wine and sit in a nice chair or in the garden on a warm day and read this book. For a moment you will be back in Italy. You are back in a small restaurant or museum.

The photos and descriptions and cutaway drawings are excellent which is ideal for a country like Italy with a lot of history. But there is lots of detail here. The book includes the history and many details on the art, art galleries, parks, cutaway views of historical buildings, and many other things of interest. The history is summarized at the beginning of the book with historical time lines and cross referenced to the culture and political figures. A solid 670 page effort - lots of stuff to see and absorb.
It has the other things too such as maps, accommodations, transportation, and the rest. This book is one of the best for a visitor.
You will be pleasantly surprised with the depth and quality of this book and it makes a nice souvenir to refresh your memory. Buy extra maps plus this book and you will be set.
Jack in Toronto
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3.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for beauty, 2 stars for usefulness, Nov. 7 2003
This review is from: Eyewitness Travel Guides Italy (Paperback)
I think the title of my review wraps it all up: the eyewitness guides are a work of graphic art. Their highlight is probably the great work on the maps, both small and large scale, which are of great help as you navigate around the cities and country looking for sights. As a tool for reaching all of the sights you want to see, I would say that the Eyewitness Guide is among the best, with its regional maps, street maps, neighborhood maps and Metro/subway guides. In addition to this, as another positive comment I would say that it is a great guide to take on a trip if you don't have much time and you need information presented in an easy-to-read, simple manner. The drawings and photos, and the way they are laid out, is very appealing. In fact, this guidebook is almost better just for getting an idea of what Italy looks like than as an actual guidebook to be used in the city itself. You might want it more as a keepsake after your trip than as a tool on the trip.
The advantages stop there, however. If you really want to get to know a city, you simply need more in-depth historical and cultural information on the sights you are seeing. Most of the locations described in the Eyewitness Guide do not stretch beyond a paragraph or two, which is quite superficial in my opinion. If you really want to know about the history behind the church, monument, museum, castle or park you have traveled so far to see, you will definitely need another guidebook to give you any kind of detail. When I went to Italy, I rented a car and thought that the pictures would help me choose whether to travel to one town or another, due to the photographically oriented focus of the book, but in the end, even the pictures are a bit superficial: for many towns, the only pictorial representation is part of a panel from the façade of a church, or a photograph of a fountain. Hardly enough to make a decision on whether to spend your next day in one Tuscan town or another.
Harsh critique also for the hotel and restaurant information, which is limited to places designed for the rich and famous, or at least the very upper of the upper-middle class. The best guides give you a little info. on all styles of lodging and food, from low budget to luxury, but these guides make little effort to do so, and even the information on the laps of luxury is limited to little symbols, instead of providing descriptions like other guides do.
With this combination of characteristics, I think Eyewitness is good to take along for a short trip in which you have little time to spend seeing places and you don't really care about getting any deep information on what you're seeing. Otherwise, keep looking for another guidebook, especially for a country like Italy, where background information and history are just as fascinating as the actual monuments and buildings.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Detail on Sites - Pricey Hotels and Dining, July 25 2003
By 
Sara Carroll (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eyewitness Travel Guides Italy (Paperback)
My husband and I used this book along with the Rick Steves' Italy book on our 2 week tour in July. This is a great book for the many sites in larger Italian cities, as well as the smaller country towns. The book has wonderful colored maps and photos (as many other reviewers can attest to). I brought it with me while wondering around towns and for information on sites to see. The book is rather heavy for the size (I carried a backpack) and in retrospect, the City specific guides may be better if your not traveling through the country side. (Others suggested I solve my 'weight' problem by tearing pages from the book and carrying the pages from a specific area with me each day. I couldn't bear to tear pages from this beautiful book, so lugged the whole thing everywhere.) For hotels, we were trying to stay within a budget (but also wanted our own bathrooms) and the majority of the hotels and dining suggestions were a bit too pricey for our travels. (That's were the Rick Steves' book came in handy.) But all said, I've already bought the Spain edition for our next trip.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Leave the Hotel Without it!, July 15 2003
By 
"ms_dawn" (sunny Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eyewitness Travel Guides Italy (Paperback)
From planning our trip to sight seeing, this book was indispensable. The detailed information (especially the pictures) helped us to determine the places we didn't want to overlook and helped us to make the best of our trip once we were there. The other 3 guide books that we brought with us weren't worth leaving a pair of shoes behind.

This book points out the star sites and exhibits, so you won't fail to notice the most important things. The color photos, drawings, maps and floor plans make locating them a snap. Star sites like the Vatican have a 12 page tour and there are 4 pages dedicated to a tour of the Uffizi art gallery. The tours are very easy to follow and much more descriptive than the on-site pamphlets that are sometimes provided. It's the perfect companion for the taped "listening tours" you may wish to rent on-site. They are more in-depth, but usually difficult to follow with the map that is provided.

The index, color coded pages and 2 bookmark flaps make it easy to locate information quickly. The routes and procedures for using the vaporetti, buses and trains are made clear in the book (impossible to make heads or tails of them otherwise!) and the maps and street-by-street sections are incredibly easy to follow. The phrase book in the back is handy, and while it isn't extensive, it has the essentials and is easy to use. We also found the book invaluable for the general information on food, wine, banking, safety, public phones, shopping, purchasing theater tickets and more. The internet is more useful than the section on hotels, but the book offers an idea of where to start looking (even if you're on a tight budget) and general information on booking a room, checking in/out and what to expect.

We stayed in several large cities for 1 week each and found that the book covered more than we could see or do. While it went into the backpack every time we left the hotel, it was generally in our hands the entire day. We often wished we had two copies, as each time we read something aloud to each other we'd have a flock of other tourists listening in and asking us questions. At one point, someone actually tried to buy the book from us!

After wasting money on several other guide books, I've learned my lesson for future traveling: Only buy the Eyewitness Travel Guide and don't leave the hotel with out it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, and helpful!!, Oct. 23 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Eyewitness Travel Guides Italy (Paperback)
My sister and I took 3 DK eyewitness travel guides on our trip through Europe. Paris was very helpful with the confusing streets. Germany was helpful with the little areas we went to that other travel books did not even mention. But the Italy book was the best. Not only was the venice, and tuscany sections helpful, but in Rome this book got us where we needed, even when lost on the mopeds. It was also great because you would run into some out of the way place, and look it up in the book and it would be there. It was also very helpful, because when we changed our itinerary in the middle of our stay in Italy, we were able to use the book to find new places to stay, and things to do while there. These books are the BEST travel books. The pictures and maps are very helpful, and it gives you a little bit of historical stories to go with everything. A must take when visititing anyplace new, heck I plan on taking them back with me when I go again next year!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great travel companion!, July 5 2002
By 
"melissaq" (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I can't say enough good things about this travel guide. I think I may have read it cover to cover. It has wonderful pictures to identify what you're looking at or looking for. The diagrams of the different museums and tourist sites were better then what some of places handed out or sold (Sistine Chapel was excellent). The detail and history are wonderful. I didn't really use it for restaurant or hotel recommendations. The front and back covers have flaps so that you can bookmark your spot in the guide. It also color codes the different regions in Italy so that you can easily flip to the proper section. The pages on Italian customs and history were also helpful in order to understand how to get around, eat, the different types of police, etc. The only place for improvement would be an update to put prices in Euros instead of Lira.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Travel Companion!, May 11 2002
Eyewitness Travel Guides are encyclopedias for the country, regions and cities. Anything AND everything you must know about the area is covered with gorgeous pictures and historical background on churches, towns, people and food in Italy. I NEVER travel without a DK Eyewitness Guide.
Please note that the hotel and restaurant information in the back has been little useful because nowadays, the internet,
word-of-mouth and frankly, travel guru Rick Steves' are more reliable in the hotel area.
And as far as the restaurants are concerned, that's not something you can plan ahead of time. Recommendations upon arrival in Italy are best. The natives know where to enjoy olive oil & four cheese pizza near Santa Maria Maggiore or lasagna you'd die for at a cafe in Piazza Navona.
Don't leave home without Eyewitness. Ciao!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure for Travelers, April 6 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Eyewitness Travel Guides Italy (Paperback)
After purchasing many books on Italy, I have found that this is one of the best for your money. Eyewitness does a great job of covering the entire country, and does not sacrifice information. This book appeals to both travelers and those who simply wish to learn more about the country and its history.
The information provided ranges from maps to the cultural and historical value of the country. As you go through each city or town, famous buildings and pieces of art are depicted as well. For those who are planning a trip to Italy, the maps of each city are helpful, as well as the directory of hotels and restaurants provided. Overall, this was an extremely well made book that presents lots of information in an interesting way and is filled with beautiful pictures. This is the book to get for covering a variety of aspects of Italy!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Useless... but great pictures!, May 6 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Eyewitness Travel Guides Italy (Paperback)
As a travel guide, this book is beyond useless! The pictures are amazing and they will definitly inspire you to take a trip to Italy but once your get there, if you depend on this book, your family will have to declare you missing! There aren't any directions to any of the places addressed in the book. And some of the places discussed would be impossible for the average person to go see on his/her own. I used Let's Go Italy as my travel guide for my 3-month italian excursion and it was the best! Yes, it wasn't without it's errors, but nothing too off the wall. I brought both my Let's Go and my Eyewitness Travel Guide with me on my trip. I gave the Eyewitness book to a British girl I met while working. She only liked it for the pictures too!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review For Students!!!, June 27 2002
By A Customer
As a student traveling to Italy, this book is hands down the only thing next to your money belt you need to bring out with you each day! [Forget] the hotel guide, it's planned out for you anyway. Don't know what a building looks like that you are going to today? Look it up. Don't know the building your looking at? Look it up. You're in Italy to enjoy it, and take it all in. Don't rush it, remember the small things, like what it smells like in St. Peters. You'll have more time to cherish your trip with this book. Better Clif Notes than you could ever take, with pictures!
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Eyewitness Travel Guides Italy
Eyewitness Travel Guides Italy by Dorling Kindersley (Paperback - March 10 2003)
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