Blue Guide Rome
Excellent, all you need when combined with one other “pragmatic” guide
By J. Mark
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.