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Eyewitness Travel Guide to Italy March 2007

This is definitely the one to get if you're travelling to a number of destinations in Italy and don't want to carry several guides. If you're not spending a lot of time in one place don't bother spending the money on individual guides unless you particularly want to read up on an area.

Of course, if you carry several of the area or city guides below you get more detail and you only have to carry a lighter book at any one time (I don't recommend ripping Eyewitness guides apart so you only carry sections!).

Rome (Eyewitness Travel Guides) 2007
Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides: Rome 2005

Pretty good coverage here, I found the building diagrams very useful. Indispensable for a longer stay. The Top Ten is enough for a few days, especially if combined with the Italy Guide, but if you love Rome you'll still want the bigger book, even if you leave it at home.

Florence and Tuscany
Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide to Tuscany

If you're spending time in Florence/Tuscany, buy one of these. I found the Top Ten Guide sufficient but I generally have only spent a couple of days in Florence at a time.

Eyewitness Travel Guide to A Taste of Tuscany 2003

Now this is an interesting book for those of us who like italian cuisine, and approve of "Slow Food"! If you want to know A LOT about the different districts, food, wine, olive oil, restaurants... well, you get the picture.

They claim 600 photographs, I didn't count them but I believe it. Although there is plenty of practical info on places to stay and eat, I wouldn't carry this with me unless I was on a gastronomic driving tour. But it's great as pre-tour reading!

Venice and The Veneto
Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide to Venice (Eyewitness Travel Top 10)

Amazingly, these have not been updated since 2003. But then, nothing changes that much in Venice, I suppose. Again, the Top Ten here was enough for me, but I did have the Italy Guide. I never seem to spend a long enough time in places like Venice, a week would be nice...

Naples & the Almalfi Coast (Eyewitness Travel Guides) 2007

OK, this is definitely one for those spending a bit of time in the area. Most tours cover Naples (not many), Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri in two or three days, and don't get down to the Amalfi villages at all, so I wouldn't bother buying this unless you've arranged to spend a week here (you lucky things!).

Of course, if you look at this book it makes you vow to do just that, and if you only have the usual couple of days they will certainly whet your appetite for more!

Milan & The Lakes (Eyewitness Travel Guides) 2007
Milan & The Lakes (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides) 2005

I found the Italian Lakes incredibly romantic, although perhaps a little faded, but that only added to their charm.

Sicily (Eyewitness Travel Guides) 2007
Sicily (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides) 2005

Fans of Inspector Montalbano (yes, I'm one) will need no persuading of Sicily's rugged charms. Even though most tours only spend around four days here, I still think a guide is worth while, you get a lot more out of the trip.

Sardinia (Eyewitness Travel Guides) 2003
Sardinia (Cadogan Guides, 3nd Ed.) 2004

This is a bit of a cheat, because I haven't been here yet. However, the books look lovely, and certainly make me want to drop in. I don't know of any tours incorporating the island, so this is really for those staying a week or so. The Cadogan has more practical details, the Eyewitness is good on food and customs.

Not enough for you?
Here is a link to a general Italy Book List

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