Some recent feedback on Amazon

While we recommend and support good book shops as the obvious place to buy a Blue Guide, we also provide functionality from these pages to order copies for immediate delivery from Amazon.  One of the advantages of this for us is that we can see the excellent rankings and feedback from readers that our titles receive, in itself rewarding for our authors, editors and production team, who put an enormous amount of work into publishing "the best-researched, best presented guide books in the English language".

Here are some recent comments:

Blue Guide Emilia Romagna

Not the usual tourist attractions

22 September 2017

By S. Mason

Format: Kindle ebook

Lots of great details. Little towns. I got it in the kindle edition so I can travel with it. Very useful.

Blue Guide Rome

Excellent reference book for my recent trip to Rome!

21 September 2017

By Erin

Format: Paperback

Excellent reference book for my recent trip to Rome! Three of each had our own copy and we poured over it the entire trip. It includes historical facts on the may ancient sights to see in Rome as well as current dining and shopping recommendations. If you are planning a trip, I recommend grabbing the Blue Guide.

Blue Guide Sicily

Best of this type. Scope is rather narrow.

22 August 2017

By anthony tedesco

Format: Paperback

Well researched. Really for those who enjoy art and architecture.

Blue Guide Venice

The Best Venice Guide

2 August 2017

By Bruce Coles

Format: Paperback

This is the best guide to Venice for anyone who wants to go beyond the crowds on St Marks Square and discover the great art and architecture. The Blue Guides are an excellent series and highly recommended.

Blue Guide Sicily



28 July 2017

By A. Malone

Format: Paperback

Excellent as this series usually is

Blue Guide Rome

Outstanding guide for the scholar in all of us!

27 July 2017

By Samantha S. Birk

Format: Paperback

I have used Blue Guides for years and they are excellent! They provide a detailed historical information in a concise and brief format that is easy to read. Besides solid information and historical context, they also have excellent recommendations for dining, accommodations, and things to do.The diagrams are very useful help you 'peel back' the layers on what you are seeing. Compared to other guides, I find Blue guides to be far more comprehensive and easy to use. One person found this helpful.

Blue Guide Venice



27 June 2017

By Susie P.

Format: Kindle ebook

The best guide on Venice! Every recommendations checked out, and the descriptions of the sites (and sights) were excellent. Alta really knows the city.

Blue Guide Sicily

great book

24 June 2017

By Amazon Customer

Format: Paperback

the best travel guide I've ever purchased. my planned trip is for art and architecture. this covers everything i need.

Blue Guide New York

I've been studying it intently and recommend it highly

11 June 2017

By Robert C Ross

Format: Paperback

As someone who walks 50 miles a week or so in New York City, I've collected a number of guide books over the years. I am hoping to be a big apple greeter in the City , and as part of the training, plan to take the official guide test given by the city, a 175 questionnaire. The city strongly recommends the use of this guide book for study purposes. I've been studying it intently and recommend it highly.

Blue Guide Rome

Best guide book out there for Rome

27 May 2017

By a y pasha

Format: Paperback

Best guide book out there for Rome, tells you everything and more, on loan to 4th person now, all impressed.

Blue Guide Paris

Just what is missing from so many guides...

25 May 2017

By Anat Tueg

Format: Kindle ebook

Wonderful in depth history, nice walks. Wish there was a guide like this on every city I visited.

Blue Guide Sicily

It is the best guide about history and archaeology

24 May 2017

By Geoffrey Braswell

Format: Paperback

This is not a book about beaches, hotels, and restaurants. It is the best guide about history and archaeology. Worth the price if you are there to see and learn rather than tan like a pig skin.

Blue Guide Sicily

A superb guide

17 May 2017

By RTF King

Format: Kindle ebook

I bought this guide the night before leaving for a one week's holiday in Palermo. Only after I had downloaded it did I see that its only review gave it one star, and I almost certainly would not have bought it had I read the review. In contrast to the reviewer, I found it extremely easy to use, with very good linkages between the Table of Contents at the back and the discussion in the text, and also cross-referencing between different parts of the text. I normally download my Kindle books on to two devices. The first is the Kindle paperwhite tablet, which has the great advantage that it can be read in broad sunlight. This is especially useful for travel guides. They are also very easy to slip into a pocket. The drawback is that, as your reviewer noted, diagrams and photographs tend to be too small and cannot be enlarged. I also download them on to an Android tablet (I use a Google Nexus 7 inch tablet, but this has probably been rendered obsolete by now.) With the Android version one can enlarge diagrams and photos very easily, and view them in a landscape version if preferred.

As for the guide itself, it is well-written and so far as I could see, very comprehensive. There were one or two glitches about opening times--swings and roundabouts, we found some things unexpectedly open as well as others unexpectedly closed. But for the most part it proved accurate and very helpful.

Blue Guide Florence

These are great guides

6 May 2017

By cubby43

Format: Paperback

im already a fan of the blue guide rome which has been a great source of knowledge for me during 2 trips to rome, i now have the florence guide and its equally superb, i love the way everything is described, the language is very thorough, these are very, very well written guides, theyre not big on glossy pictures but have a great deal of substance, much more than other guides, they do contain great floor plans of important churches etc, also they have maps of the cities within, a pleasing touch is diagrams and illustrations of famous buildings,, these are top quality guides and will always be my first port of call whenever i want to look something up

Blue Guide Rome

Five Stars

1 May 2017

By Edwin Tomlinson

Format: Paperback

Book in excellent condition and up to date. A good buy.

Blue Guide Rome

Excellent, all you need when combined with one other "pragmatic" guide

22 April 2017

By J. Mark

Format: Paperback

30 years ago, LP was the only guide book I used. I'd read that Blue Guides were "dry", but the on-line previews seemed to have much more depth. Purchased 4, for each of the major cities in Italy which we visited.

Pros: They are terrific! Substantial detail in art, architecture, and history, intelligently written, and without any apparent "PC" bias, which negatively effects so many guidebooks. We had other folks surreptitiously listening in when I'd read out the descriptions as we went; much of the content of other guidebooks seems to be cribbed from the Blues. Far, far more detail than the other guidebooks we had with us; Blue would often have full entries on sites the others did not even (or barely) mentioned. Cannot say enough about the fantastic wealth of information & detail on nearly every site; often as much or more than the local tour guides! We never felt the need for a guide except in the 1 or 2 locations Blue actually recommended it!

Cons: A little light on practical "getting there" and "where to stay" type information, but I do like that the Blues assumption is that you're not a timid, fearful tourist & can figure some basics out for yourself. They're big & heavy, so perhaps I'm going with the downloadable next time, tho I love the ability to re-read them at home.

When combined with any other guidebook that excels in the practical traveler's type info (such as LP, Rough, Fodor/Frommer, etc. - your preference), the Blue Guides provide the excellent, in-depth detail into at what you're actually looking.

Blue Guide Paris

Great Guide!

20 April 2017

By Jerrold Anderson

Format: Paperback

Great book! I had an earlier edition and lost it. The updated version is even better!

Pilgrim's Rome

Best in class

18 April 2017

By Rich Leonardi

Format: Kindle ebook

Wonderful resource that provides brief, encyclopedic descriptions of the history and significance of nearly all the important sites of Christian Rome. The digital version is especially helpful, as one can flip through the Kindle version on an iPhone while walking the streets of Rome. I've read just about every similarly themed book on Rome I could find, and Blue Guides' Pilgrims Rome is the best.

Blue Guide Venice

The best series of guide books are now better than ever

4 March 2017

By Marco M

Format: Paperback

This is the first of the 'rebooted' Blue Guides I've bought. After going down the pretty looking, more populist route, Blue Guides are now back on track!

This is absolutely the best guide book to Venice available today. Let's be honest here - one goes to Venice for her history, art and architecture, not for a week of lying on a beach at a resort. Blue Guides are unapologetically concerned with detailed information on every building and artwork you will see in a city. This guide is stuffed full of the most interesting information about everything imaginable relating to Venice, her art and her glorious past. Not just who painted what and who built that, but facinating titbits of trivia that brings the most beautiful city on Earth alive.

I have taken past editions of Blue Guides to Venice many times over the last 10 years, but this is the best so far. I thought I knew Venice inside out - my last trip there (for 8 days) revealed so much more that I didn't know, all thanks to this brilliant guide. It really makes every other guide book on the market look like an article in a magazine.

Now I have to buy the rebooted Blue Guide to Rome for my upcoming trip back to the Eternal City!

Hungarian Wine: A Tasting Trip to the New Old World

Great and informative book

28 February 2017

By Miss Fly

Format: Paperback

Bought as a Christmas present and well received by someone who knows their wines. Very informative book.

Blue Guide Venice

Intelligent, reliable guide to those who want to find

4 February 2017

By Richard Hyman

Format: Paperback

I cannot add substantially to the previous review of Joanie G. This much improved edition is almost twice the size of the previous which was inferior to the Blue Guides to London and Paris. To my knowledge it is the only thorough, intelligent, reliable guide to those who want to find and appreciate the overwhelming riches of this city. Plus advice on getting about efficiently. Recommend without reservation.

Blue Guide New York

Made a wonderful Christmas gift for my Dad

22 January 2017

By Samantha B.

Format: Paperback

Lovely book! Made a wonderful Christmas gift for my Dad. He's raving about it.

Blue Guide Emilia Romagna

Great book!

8 January 2017

By Alexandra Neustadt

Format: Paperback

Great book! Covers all of the main cities in Emilia-Romagna--Parma, Modena, Bologna, Ferrara, Ravenna, and more. Pretty slim, so easy for traveling. I disagree with the other reviewers who gave it one star. Blue Guides have never been your typical tourist book. They include much more information and history about the sights. I use online research and other basic travel books to map out what I want to see. Then I take a Blue Guide with me so I can really learn about what I'm looking at. This Blue Guide is perfect for that.

(We have a newer edition of Blue Guide Emilia Romagna, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide Rome

The blue guide is One of the best books

26 October 2016

By susanna majolino

Format: Paperback

The blue guide is One of the best books I've ever read About my mervellous city!! It is very well written, clear and with many details!!

Blue Guide London 18th edition

Five Stars

27 September 2016

By Elaine Potters Bar

Format: Paperback

Brilliant guide for anyone interested in London and it's hidden treasures.

Blue Guide New York

Literally everything you could want to know about NYC.

19 September 2016

By Duffee

Format: Paperback

Literally everything you could want to know about NYC. Using it to study for my NYC Sightseeing Guide Exam.

Blue Guide London 18th edition

Very good on anecdote...

29 August 2016

By David Poyser

Format: Paperback

Very good on anecdote, and excellent for looking up stuff at the back. I took it out with a whole load of trainee London guides, and we all found it the best source.

Blue Guide Umbria

Great book, I used it everywhere in Umbria.

23 August 2016

By Ilikebooks

Format: Kindle ebook

This was such a helpful book, truly detailed and has extremely useful descriptions and explanations of art and architecture. Traveled all over Umbria and took this book (on my kindle) everywhere and referred to it often. Buy it.

Blue Guide New York

The book is recommended to not only exam takers but also newbies to...

30 July 2016

By Ellen Kim

Format: Paperback

Very specific information about NYC is included. The book is recommended to not only exam takers but also newbies to the city.

Pilgrim's Rome

Excellent

21 July 2016

By K

Format: Paperback

Bought for upcoming first trip to Rome. Had it spiral bound at a local shop in order to use it on the go. Excellent size. maps and resources.

Blue Guide New York

Absolutely the best guides for those looking to really appreciate a city.

13 July 2016

By Andy R.

Format: Paperback

In the internet age, the need for a traditional travel guide with hotel listings and maps is becoming a thing of the past. What is not and can no be replaceable is the ability to get a wealth of beautifully curated information on a destination, the stuff that makes a trip/ visit worthwhile.

The Blue Guides are absolutely the best guides for those looking to really appreciate a city. Whether traveling, new to a city, or a native history buff, these are unparalleled in their informative and interesting content.

My only complaint is that they don't publish more of them for other cool cities. I always check for a Blue Guide when I get a new airplane ticket bought. I feel like there used to be more? HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Travels in Transylvania: The Greater Târnava Valley

Five Stars

7 July 2016

By Amazon Customer

Format: Paperback

A beautifully written guide that takes you on journey through an undiscovered gem.

Blue Guide Rome

Superb

3 July 2016

By cubby43

Format: Paperback

Excellent detailed guide, just the right amount of information for me, thorough but in no way boring, very well written, very nicely laid out and organised, much better than the more common big name guidebooks in my opinion, indispensable.

Blue Guide Rome

The ultimate DETAILED art and sights guide

20 May 2016

By GerryR

Format: Paperback

The Blue Guide is all about DETAILS; about the many many sights you could see when in Rome. This is NOT about where to eat or stay or how to get around, but about what there is to see - who built it, when and why - who painted it or carved it and how it all fits into the big picture. Very authoritative and accurate.

Blue Guide Paris

Five Stars

20 May 2016

By Amazon Customer

Format: Kindle ebook

The Blue Guides fill in all the blanks that the other guidebooks have.

Blue Guide Rome

The Gold Standard for guidebooks to Rome

4 May 2016

By G.B. Piranesi

Format: Paperback

Just arrived today in my mailbox, and am thoroughly pleased. Layout, image quality and substantially updated information makes this the guidebook of reference for the Eternal City. As erudite as ever, but more user-friendly than previous editions, this is the one to get.

Blue Guide Sicily

Five Stars

18 April 2016

By Robin Duran McBride

Format: Kindle ebook

Beautiful book full of information. Very readable and not boring.

(We have a newer Kindle edition of Blue Guide Sicily, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide New York

Blue Guides are the best for the more serious traveller

3 March 2016

By Amazon Customer

Format: Paperback

You will quickly understand why Blue Guide New York is required reading for licensed City sightseeing guides.

Blue Guide Literary Companion Rome



27 January 2016

By Audrey in Rome

Format: Kindle ebook

Wonderful book. I give them as gifts.

Blue Guide Paris

The Blue Guides are the best guides for people who really want the details of...

18 January 2016

By Amazon Customer

Format: Paperback

The Blue Guides are the best guides for people who really want the details of museums and historical sites. There are very few restaurant and hotel suggestions; use a different guide for those. I use these wherever I travel and I have learned a lot from reading them as I visit a site.

Blue Guide New York

Blue Guides are the best for the more serious traveller

31 December 2015

By Andrew Porter

Format: Paperback

Blue Guides are the best guide books for the more serious traveller, for those who prefer to visit art galleries and museums rather than, well, less cultural places. I've been using them for around 40 years and have not regretted one moment of my long and happy relationship with Blue Guides.

Being comprehensive guides they are a tad heavier than the more lightweight ones, but quit kvetching, Reader, buy a satchel to hold it in...I can highly recommend the following company as purveyors of fine satchels, Chapman of Carlisle (UK), their fishing bags are perfect for keeping cameras, maps and guide books in whilst exploring New York.

By all means use other guides for information on hotels, places to eat and drink, shopping and LGBTQI venues but Blue Guides are the business for architecture, art galleries and history.

Carol von Pressentin Wright "has been writing and revising editions of BLUE GUIDE NEW YORK since 1976" . Her meticulously detailed writing in this, the fifth and latest edition of the BLUE GUIDE NEW YORK, should ensure this edition remains at the top of the list for the more discerning travellers to New York for quite some time.

The New York Times described an earlier edition as "Impressive and indispensable."

Blue Guide Rome

Buy this guide for Rome travel

10 November 2015

By Rich72

Format: Kindle ebook

I swear by the paperback editions of this guide, of which I have had two different one. Thrilled to see it available as a e-book, I purchased it immediately. This guide is the a thorough and comprehensive travel reference, with details other books simply ignore, figuring their users are real dilettantes. This is a serious book. We visit Rome for several months every year and always have a copy of it on hand. Now with the e-book, I can quickly access to Rome information with a couple of clicks. Will be great for walking around central Rome and all of its neighborhoods.

(We have a newer Kindle edition of Blue Guide Rome, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide Paris

THE guide to seeing Art in Paris

8 November 2015

By J. B. Arran

Format: Paperback

This told me everything I wanted to know about my reason for visiting Paris. That was to immerse my wife and myself in the art of the M. d'Orsey. Thanks to the book we also spent time in the wonderful M. de l'Orangerie. We also used two of the walking routes which were a brilliant way of seeing Paris as it were, behind the scenes.

Hungarian Wine: A Tasting Trip to the New Old World

An inviting introduction into Hungary's fascinating wine culture

17 October 2015

By D. Bolger

Format: Paperback

A fresh look at the new Hungarian wine scene and its fruitful history. The book examines the traditional and new methods of wine production in a way that lay wine drinkers can absorb but also has depth for more educated connoisseurs. A well rounded exploration of the region's wine, touching on grape advice, food and culture with a warm anecdotal flavour. It's about time this culture rich and wine rich region was discovered again. An excellent and indispensable guide to Hungarian wine in general and a must for visitors.

Blue Guide Venice

This is an excellent guide-book and includes very intelligent and descriptive articles

8 October 2015

By Jilly Clarke

Format: Paperback

This is an excellent guide-book and includes very intelligent and descriptive articles. I bought it, together with the Pocket Rough Guide and they complimented perfectly.

Blue Guide Florence

Still the best and most thorough series of guide books around

29 September 2015

By Amazon Customer

Format: Paperback

Still the best and most thorough series of guide books around. The Florence volume is a worthy member of the series.

(We have a newer edition of Blue Guide Florence, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide London 18th edition

Best London Guide I have Seen

8 September 2015

By M J Henderson

Format: Paperback

Concisely written yet full of relevant detail. Sets a very high standard for guide books.

Blue Guide Venice

Blue is the colour

11 August 2015

By Intermeddle

Format: Paperback

The Blue Guides are still the best choice for visitors seriously interested in architecture and art. This one improves with every edition.

Blue Guide Paris

Best guide books for architecture, museums and galleries

5 August 2015

By Andrew Porter

Format: Paperback

I've been using Blue Guides for over forty years and they really are the best guide books for architecture, museums and galleries. I usually use them in tandem with a Rough Guide or a Lonely Planet guide which are better for hotels, restaurants and shopping. The Blue Guides are not cheap but, as ever, you get what you pay for, quality costs money. I've found they don't become as out of date quite as quickly as the other guide books mentioned above. Highly recommended.

Pilgrim's Rome



24 July 2015

By Rev. J. Setelik Jr.

Format: Paperback

The Christian's best friend in preparing to see Rome. Absolutely love it! Pocket size will be helpful.

Blue Guide Emilia Romagna

This was a real find!

28 June 2015

By Gaby

Format: Kindle ebook

This was a real find! So accurate and really detailed! Recommend it wholeheartedly - the best guide around on this area.

(We have a newer Kindle edition of Blue Guide Emilia Romagna, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide Jordan

This is the best guidebook I have ever used

18 June 2015

By Agnieszka

Format: Kindle ebook

The Blue Guide is designed to serve travelers who prioritize the history and archaeology of sites. The ground plans are particularly helpful. The book covers well-known sites, e.g. Petra, as well as places off the beaten track, e.g. Qasr Burqu. The directions are usually clear. There were only a few times I was not able to match the directions with what I saw, which may have been caused by factors beyond the authors' control. The newest edition contains accurate and up to date information, even for the opening hours of the Jordan Museum. This is the best guidebook I have ever used. I would recommend it to anyone serious about history and archaeology.

Blue Guide Rome

Excellent guide to Rome

10 June 2015

By Kurt Schweighauser

Format: Paperback

Excellent guide to Rome. I recently spent a week there and good this book everywhere. The last day I went to the Vatican and hired a tour guide. There were 25 people in the group, but with the help of the Blue Guide, I didn't miss anything.

(We have a newer edition of Blue Guide Rome, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide Crete

If a Mediterranean vacation is in your plans

15 May 2015

By suej

Format: Paperback

This is one of three guides I have and is easily the best especially if you are interested in the history of Crete. But even if you're not, it is a mine of information, as well as useful recommendations for accommodation and eating (we tried a few of the recommended restaurants and weren't disappointed in any of them). It's divided into different geographical sections, each beginning with a history of the place, then recommended places to visit, with the emphasis on historical sites and museums but other places of interest as well. There are guided walks and drives, with masses of background information. There is also practical stuff about travel, where to stay, (with price guides) tourist information, where to eat (also with price guides), shopping and markets, festivals and events, walking, and recommended further reading. The detail on places like Knossos is great - I can safely say that it's all we needed to guide us round the site. Highly recommended.

Blue Guide Venice

Wow!

21 April 2015

By Tim Synge

Format: Paperback

This really is a fantastic guide. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a week in Venice and many of my target destinations were based on the contents of this book. It is so incredibly informative and authoritative that it knocks the information in other guides, such as Baedeker and Lonely Planet, into the long grass. Of course, it is much more of a specialist publication with an unapologetic focus on art, architecture, sculpture and history, so you would expect it to do better than general purpose guides.

A couple of minor drawbacks: firstly the ordering of contents (once you get beyond the six districts of Venice) is a little opaque. The mini-maps for each major site are loosely indicative, but you do need a proper streetmap too. Secondly, it is a job to distinguish between one-star and five-star recommendations. Granted, it is not for this book to be too populist and rank its contents, but sometimes a real gem is almost lost in a small paragraph. I am not sure how this could be improved, but I often found myself cross-referencing against a "tourist" guide to decide how to prioritise the visits.

All in all, an excellent work. My first Blue Guide, but emphatically not my last.

Blue Guide Trentino & The South Tyrol

Nice and small and light enough to pack easily

13 April 2015

By Brian M Biggs

Format: Paperback

A part of Italy the regular guide-books don't really spend any time with. Nice and small and light enough to pack easily. Not to mention the history of the region, as well as side-trips to smaller towns. Loved the book, loved the trip.

Blue Guide Sicily

useful research book

14 March 2015

By Kahanamoku "Kahanamoku"

Format: Paperback

One of the best books I have found for information on Sicily. If you want pretty pics go elsewhere.. this is really great on the information side. A much better format for me than DK

(We have a newer edition of Blue Guide Sicily, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide Rome

The Blue Guide presents succinct historical background and useful visiting info

7 March 2015

By Carol H. Johnson

Format: Paperback

There are guidebooks with many pages of hotel, restaurant and shopping recommendations. Those "recommendations" exist mainly because the business owners have paid (or they have purchased a "special edition" of the book). The Blue Guide eschews this dubious practice.

(We have a newer edition of Blue Guide Rome, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide London 18th edition

Not for the superficial or uninitiated

17 November 2014

By John D. Wynn

Format: Paperback

The Blue Guides are uniformly outstanding, but you have to know what you are getting: detailed descriptions of art and architecture with myriad discussions of dates and names and places and little background for the less initiated. This is not for the casual reader with a superficial knowledge of history and little interest in every duke, lord, prince and princeling, architect, architect's assistant, architect's mentor or mid-career vs later-career predilection. It's a dense, heavy book to lug around, and the extra effort is amply rewarded - if this is the kind of detail that you like.

Blue Guide Venice

Essential guide for serious lovers of Venice

27 October 2014

By Venetia

Format: Paperback

Not a book for those seeking superficial information or brief summaries of the major sights, but an excellent guide for anyone with a serious interest in Venice's art and architecture and who wishes to acquire an intimate knowledge of the city. The maps are detailed and the walks included are also first rate, opening up hidden corners that might otherwise be overlooked. Highly recommended.

Blue Guide Eastern Turkey

Best guide to eastern Turkey

16 September 2014

By Tammie Sisco "Book lover in Turkey"

Format: Kindle ebook

The best guide to Eastern Turkey hands down. I spent two weeks driving around the East of Turkey, Kars, Dogubeyazit, Van, Diyarbakir and this has a lot of useful advice and what to see.

Blue Guide London 18th edition

Exceptional update to a classic and useful guide to this amazing city

29 August 2014

By Blue Sky "Blue Sky"

Format: Paperback

Exceptional update to a classic and useful guide to this amazing city. Enjoyable to read as well as a practical guide from which to plan a trip.

Blue Guide Venice

A great guide and interesting to read

19 August 2014

By Margaret R. Snowdon

Format: Paperback

I searched so many guide books on Venice before I finally chose Blue Guide Venice - I found it helpful and most informative--written in a way that held the interest. I would recommend it to anyone.

Blue Guide Sicily

Simply the best and most complete travel companion

15 August 2014

By Argyraspid

Format: Paperback

Simply the best! The editor of this Blue Guide, Sicily is Dr Michael Metcalfe, whom I had the immense pleasure to meet on several trips organized by Peter Sommer Travels.

This travel guide starts with a sketchy presentation of Sicily’s complex history. After that, each province of Sicily is being explained in detail, beginning each time with a short history of its own followed by the role its capital and other main cities played over the centuries, highlighting the main buildings and others, inclusive opening hours, entrance fees and handy phone numbers. Clear town plans and site maps help the prospective visitor to find his way among the Greco-Roman ruins and in the web of streets and alleys of these cities and towns. Key events or key personalities receive special attention in a framed window, and clear drawings and an occasional (black & white) picture definitely help to get a good idea of what to expect.

At the end of each chapter treating a separate province, there is a list of hotels and restaurants that deserve to be taken into consideration. That goes for all the provinces of Sicily: Palermo, Trapani, Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Enna, Ragusa, Syracuse, Catania and Messina.

The guide concludes with some practical information about opening hours, emergency numbers, means of communication and travel, and finally some details about accommodation and the island’s wide range of typical food and drink (wines). There also is a glossary of special terms, mostly pertaining to Greek temples and theatres, handily completed with drawings of the basic temple design, the classical orders of the temples, the design of ancient theatres, as well as the names and shapes of all kinds of pottery one can encounter. It also includes a list of Sicilian architects, painters and sculptors. At the very end of the guide we find a full road map of Sicily and a series of more detailed maps by province. In short, everything you need to know before heading for this beautiful island but also extremely useful while travelling around.

To my greatest pleasure and utmost satisfaction I did indeed visit this island in a two-weeks tour led by Dr Michael Metcalfe in person (for the tour details of Peter Sommer Travels, see Exploring Sicily), who truly brought Sicily and its rich history and culture to life!

(We have a newer edition of Blue Guide Sicily, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide Trentino & The South Tyrol

Great info but no practicalities

23 July 2014

By Chilean Ale "Alejandro H"

Format: Paperback

Amazing historical and architectural tips and background, not much on practical tips. For example in lodging and restaurant, there is usually one recomendation for each place. Covers the region better than other guides that only tell you about Bolzano, Castelorotto and Alpe d'Siusi; this guide properly covers the whole region named in the cover, and although I haven't been there, its description use enough adjectives to help you anticipate and decide.

Blue Guide Concise Italy

Helped me a lot in Tuscany and Umbria

21 July 2014

By Alexander

Format: Kindle ebook

I missed illustrations, but the guide is terrific and helped me a lot in Tuscany and Umbria.

Blue Guide Greece - The Peloponnese

This book is amazing because it shows the area as it was

12 July 2014

By ellen "ellen in atlanta"

Format: Kindle ebook

My people all came from this lovely part of Greece. This book is wonderful because it shows the area as it was, with mythical resources to how it is now-complete with hotel, cafe, and travel information. This is a beautiful part of Greece where there is poverty, pride, gorgeous orchards, magnificent views- and very wonderful people. Luxury hotels take advantage of the beauty of this mystical place and gives the tourist a one stop shop to see a gorgeous part of Greece. The places you have heard about all your life--Argos, Sparta, etc.all are there to explore.

Blue Guide Umbria

Five Stars

10 July 2014

By Steve Hallgrimson

Format: Kindle ebook

Very informative and easy to read.

Blue Guide Greece - Thessaly

Blue guide in useful sections

31 May 2014

By Suzi Stembridge

Format: Kindle ebook

Short but sweet, a single chapter from the latest Blue Guide; a very useful way of taking a guide whether on Kindle, phone or ipad.

Blue Guide Rome

Scholarly and readable: an indispensable guide to Rome

26 May 2014

By Anne Redmon

Format: Paperback

We bought the Blue Guide to Rome for our second visit to the city in six months: this was because the Michelin Guide we had used before gave us only cursory information on the sites we had visited then. Rome was not, of course, built in a day and any of its major treasures certainly take at least half a day to see adequately. The Blue Guide is scholarly and perhaps too heavy-weight for quick tourism but if you have been bitten by the Roman bug and really want to delve then this is for you. It is written in clear language and the index makes it easy for you to dive in at any level you want. Now I have come home I want to pick it up again and pore over it, revisiting in my mind the places that we saw. We were particularly interested in San Clemente. My husband visited it alone in December because I had a tummy bug at the time and he had only the Michelin for company. This time we went together and spent an entire morning there with the Blue Guide taking us all the way from the Temple of Mithras on the lowest level right up to the stunning mosaics in the church itself. We could hardly tear ourselves away.

(We have a newer edition of Blue Guide Rome, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide Southern Italy

Best guide for details about places and sights

26 May 2014

By Ben Martinez

Format: Paperback

This is from the most scholarly and detailed of the English language guides to Italy. If you want to know where that temple came from, who Ruggiero II was, or the history of that ancient street market in Palermo, the Blue Guides will help. They also suggest places to eat and stay, and helpful summaries of the things you need to know about highways, trains and local customs. Worth the money if you want to do something more than lay on the beach with a drink. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Blue Guide Venice

It sets the gold standard for travel guides to Venice

22 May 2014

By David Lown

Format: Paperback

Wide-ranging, detailed, well laid-out, readable, informative, reliable, Blue Guide Venice sets the gold standard for travel guides to the world's most beautiful city. Don't visit La Serenissima without it.

Blue Guide Tuscany

The most useful guidebook for culture lovers

19 May 2014

By Paulina Surniak

Format: Paperback

I bought a few guidebooks for the trip to Tuscany. Most of them contained more or less similar pieces of information - the same places, the same attractions. Blue Guide covers practically everything! We were travelling by car around the Tuscan hills and every single town or village that we passed on the way was covered in this invaluable guidebook. Great insight into the history of the works of art which are to be found in remote village churches and similar stuff. Highly recommended!

Blue Guide Florence

The Blue Guide never disappoints

12 April 2014

By Cathlene

Format: Paperback

We are planning a 3 day trip to Florence. A city which we've never visited before. My primary interest, when I travel, is art & history. I have several Blue Guides to other cities & found them excellent for art & architecture. In my opinion, it is the best "Tour Guide" type book with an emphasis on art. Good overview of all the important artists. I recommend "Florence" & any of the other Blue Guides. There is nothing like them, unless you want to go to a specialty book.

(We have a newer edition of Blue Guide Florence, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide Greece the Mainland

Best

1 March 2014

By J

Format: Paperback

The best guides. Good descriptions with history, art and architecture. A few tips about restaurants and hotels are a bonus

Blue Guide Crete

If a Mediterranean vacation is in your plans

29 January 2014

By chazzzz

Format: Paperback

If you plan on a Mediterranean cruise this year, don't leave home without a Blue Guide. Other guide books recommend more restaurants, nightclubs, and trendy shops. If you really want to get to know as much as you can about a place in a short amount of time, however, you can't beat the Blue Guides. This one is as excellent as all the others. Wear your sunblock and have a great time.

Blue Guide Concise Italy

Just what I needed

15 January 2014

By Steven R. Daniels "Loup Perdu"

Format: Kindle ebook

Preparing for a trip to Sicily, I purchased several guides just for Sicily, but managed to forget them when I left. So in desperation I downloaded all the e-books I could find and this was by far the best. In fact, even though this book covers all of Italy, the Sicily section is better than the Sicily-specific e-books I bought. I still would have preferred my hard copy Blue Guide specific to Sicily, but this came through very well in a pinch and gave me just what I needed.

Venice & The Veneto

More Veneto then Venice

11 January 2014

By David Lown

Format: Kindle ebook

Most books which have both Venice and the Veneto in the title focus on the city at the expense of the region. The Blue Guide is the exception, devoting three-quarters of its text to the Veneto. The section is detailed and very wide-ranging, extending far beyond the usual suspects, Padua, Vicenza and Verona.

Blue Guide Venice

Essential guide for art aficionados

10 January 2014

By Joanie G

Format: Paperback

I was lucky that this latest edition became available on Amazon just as I was departing for a 3 week stay in Venice. It is not a guide for the casual visitor, but only for those with the time and interest in delving deeply into Venice's art treasures. In that respect, it is thorough, accurate and authoritative. I especially appreciate that Ms Macadam directs the reader to the most important works at a given site, preventing one from getting confused and overwhelmed. For example, the documentation provided by the CHORUS group of churches consists of a sheet that lists all the many works of art in the church but gives one no Idea what to focus on or why. I put those aside and let her lead me to the best, all the while enjoying her opinions and assessments. Almost without exception, I found her taste and discernment to be impeccable. I was also grateful that she led me to works by some little-known artists that I would have overlooked on my own. Some space in the book is given to essential travel practicalities, but other sources should be consulted for the usual tourist-type information--that is not really within the scope or purpose of this book. However, even though the restaurant recommendations are few, they seemed to be well chosen. I came to love Ms Macadam's Blue Guides during extended stays in Rome and Tuscany. I found this Venice guide ito be the best of all of them, probably because it had been so recently updated.

Blue Guide Rome

Best serious and concise guides to art and architecture in Italy

8 December 2013

By APC Reviews "APC Reviews"

Format: Paperback

The various Blue Guides to Italy are extraordinary resources for the knowledgeable traveler, interested in art, architecture and history, wishing to visit sites that they want to become more experienced with and educated about. The Blue Guides are not a general tourist guide. They are art, architecture and historical culture guides.

The Blue Guides are not about restaurants, bucket lists, hotels, trains, buses, hiking trails, top tens, must sees, top rated, best values, most fun or what to pack for your trip. They are concise and expert guides to the essentials of art and classical culture in the chosen areas. The number of people saying that the guides are "difficult" or "boring" or "useless" or "impossible" says volumes about the complete unfamiliarity with the subject, and the superficial interests, of the critics.

There is no shortage of glossy guide books available for people wanting to breeze through the Uffizi Museum in an hour, do Venice in an afternoon before returning to their cruise chip, make sure they get the photo of themselves holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, find the best shopping for that adorable memento, sample the local food specialty, or make sure they see the Sistine Chapel before lunch. The Blue Guides are not those books. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for the knowledgeable traveler to Italy, and those wanting to be one.

(We have a newer edition of Blue Guide Rome, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide Greece: The Mainland

Your best friend in Greece

1 December 2013

By iwearshoes

Format: Paperback

With this guide, you don't need to be an archaeologist or an ancient historian to get the most out of your trip to Greece, but if you are, you will likely find sites you hadn't before considered. It is thorough in its information about all the important sites, plus many gems of lesser-known sites. Information includes walking and driving maps, guided room-by-room tours of museums, ancient and modern histories, sidebars on important historical figures and events, and even references to modern scholarship. All time periods are covered from prehistoric mounds and ancient temples to Frankish castles and Byzantine and modern monasteries and churches.

Smoothly from Harrow

Thoroughly recommended!

25 November 2013

By Linda B

Format: Paperback

An absolute gem! Original and thoroughly enjoyable. Each page is a delight - full of interesting and amusing facts. For anyone who has ever travelled by train, this book offers an enlightened insight, uplifting the chore of any train journey. I couldn't put this book down! A perfect gift.

Blue Guide Turkey - Special Reprint Edition

Excellent overview of sites

22 October 2013

By Prof C W Dearden

Format: Paperback

An excellent overview of the Classical and later sites of Turkey. It is unfortunate there has been no updated edition recently and that this reprint edition is sometimes less well printed than it might be. Indeed some of the site maps are better reproduced in the 2nd (1995) edition. But overall an exceptionally good guide book (like all the Blue Guides).

Pilgrim's Rome

LOVE

5 August 2013

By MAS

Format: Kindle ebook

Blue Guides are the best of the best. I'm not Catholic but I am Christian and wanted a book that gave fantastic Biblical history of Rome. This book is unbiased, detailed, and very easy to read and enjoy. Next purchase Blue Guide Venice and Rome.

Blue Guide New York

This is THE bible when it comes to New York

23 July 2013

By Vinay Raval

Format: Paperback

The insight provided from this book is truly amazing. As a native New Yorker, I enjoyed the variety of content and the quality of its presentation. Although "reference-like", this is a great book to read page-by-page over several weeks. Doing so will increase your overall knowledge and assist in your retention of information. For example, I can't imagine how lost I would have been in the main sections without having read the architecture primer in the beginning. As a result of carefully reading this book, I passed the NYC Sightseeing Exam on the first go (harder than you likely think), and look through my home city in a completely different light. This probably isn't the best choice for a quick visit to NYC but is the perfect starter for those who live in NYC and wish to see it from a different light. I have never come across a better researched book, and am unlikely to do so. If ever a product deserved five stars - this is it!

(We have a newer edition of Blue Guide New York, click here to see it.)

Blue Guide Greece: The Aegean Islands

Potentially useful, but read reviews first

8 June 2013

By Jon Corelis

Format: Paperback

To sum up: obviously this is a major book on Greece, well organized and clearly expressed, and will be worth carrying around if you have a serious scholarly interest, even as an amateur, in the Aegean islands and especially their classical history.

The Venice Lido

A review of The Venice Lido: A Blue Guide Travel Monograph by Robin Saikia

18 March 2013

By Mr. R. Clark

Format: Kindle ebook

Among my large collection of travel literature, I will treasure this beautifully-crafted book by Robin Saikia, for it is that rare thing - a work that, even in the depths of winter, can transport the reader to the destination of choice, in this case the Venice Lido. It is so much more than just a guide. A friendly, knowledgeable travelling companion would describe it more accurately. I have not been to Venice for many years, but this learned and witty book has ensured that it will not be long before I return. Thank you Robin Saikia. Richard Clark - Author The Greek Islands - A Notebook; Crete - A Notebook

Blue Guide Sicily

Amazing Sicilian Guide

12 February 2013

By Jill Tata

Format: Paperback

Blue Guide Sicily is an exciting and extraordinary travel guide. Having visited with a large tour group I want to return solo. This book goes into depth and sums up the islands charm. It's an excellent read in preparation for, or while on a trip to Sicily. Part guidebook, part historical and it is one of the most interesting books I've read. I'd say it's the definitive work on Sicily! A great picture of Sicily and its hideouts through the centuries - very insightful.

(We have a newer edition of Blue Guide Sicily, click here to see it.)

Pilgrim's Rome

A pocket-sized guide, which packs quite a punch...

18 August 2012

By David Lown

Format: Paperback

For centuries Rome has been a magnet for pilgrims. They first arrived by foot or on horseback; they now arrive, more often than not, by train or aeroplane. Their means of transport might have changed, but their reasons for travelling hasn't. As a place of pilgrimage, Rome is second only to Jerusalem in terms of importance. It was the site of some of the first Christian communities. It is the burial place of countless saints and martyrs. It is home to more than 900 churches and is, of course, the residence of the Bishop of Rome, also known as the Vicar of Christ and the Pope, which we learn are just a few of the Holy Father's many titles. The first two chapters are devoted to Peter and Paul (Rome's patron saints) and the sites associated with them. The author then moves on to the seven Patriarchal basilicas and the Catacombs. Much of the rest of the book is devoted to churches in general. There will always be quibbles in a book of this size over why some churches were selected, while others were omitted (why, for instance, Sant'Alfonso and not Santa Maria della Pace?), but that is inevitable. The book ends with a series of short entries on subjects such as Papal Indulgences and Stational Churches, which I found particularly interesting.

In writing a guidebook for Christian travellers to Rome, Ms Barber has become part of a long and venerable tradition, which dates back to the fourth century. However, unlike many of her predecessors, this author wears her knowledge lightly and is not above enlivening the text with the occasional anecdote. Believers and non-believers, first time visitors and veterans, all should slip this book into their pockets the next time they visit the Eternal City.

Visible Cities - Dubrovnik

An easy, informative read

26 June 2011

By Adrian Perks

Format: Paperback

This is a fantastic book. An essential must for all those visiting this beautiful city and area. Some of the information is out of date, but, as long as you bare that in mind, this is really useful.