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 Venice and the Veneto

Blue Guide Must-Haves for Italy

By mikelb
Format: Paperback

Having known the more massive Blue Guides of the past (e.g., one for all of Northern Italy), I just recently discovered these smaller, separate regional guides and bought not only this one but also those for Sicily and Emilia-Romagna; a new one for Lombardy is due out shortly. They are not geared to mass travel or all the practicalities of travel to Italy’s main tourist centers; for that sort of guide you can resort to the “Big 5” (or more) guides. Rather, these Blue Guides are strongly geared to the voyager with strong orientation to the art, history and culture (and natural beauties too) of Italy, and an appetite to go a bit off-the-beaten tourist path, as that’s where some of the greatest treasures are to be found.

The value of these Blue Guides is to delve deeper than the “Big 5” guides don’t or can’t. The Blue Guides are wonderful for digging out smaller or undiscovered treasures that no traveler would be likely to find alone — a town or a church or museum or neighborhood, let’s say, that may be a real revelation. Many of those are places most tourists never get to — and may not even know about — but that is not to say they are minor in any way. They may in fact be priceless culturally.

For comparison, I consulted a very recent edition of one of the Big 5 — the Rick Steves 2017 Italy Guide, which is packed with useful information in its nearly 1200 pages, and very well presented; from a practical point of view, I think this may be the best of the Big guides today. But consider what it does not find space for and never even mentions: even close to Milan which does get coverage, no mention of Pavia, for example, with its famous monastery, or Bergamo, or Brescia, or Cremona; a bit further afield, no treatment at all of Piacenza, Modena, Parma, the major city of Bologna, Mantua, Ferrara. All unique, all with wonderful things to see and experience, and many of them with a more intimate atmosphere than the big tourist cities.

So, for some of us, who would consider places like those to be “essential,” the Blue Guides are essential too, not as substitutes but rather as supplements to the big, practical guides. You may still need Rick Steves to teach you some ins and outs of travel in Italy, but the Blue Guides will help you find an exquisite out-of-the-way chapel or Renaissance palace or miraculous piece of art or priceless jewel of a piazza you would otherwise miss — and that you can explore without hordes of other tourists around you. PS the Blue Guides are cleanly organized and clearly and elegantly researched and written — VERY comprehensive for the areas they cover. I love them!

Blue Guide Venice

The Best Venice Guide

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.

The Venice Lido: A Blue Guide Travel Monograph

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

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 Venice

Best guide

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 Venice

The best series of guide books are now better than ever

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!

Blue Guide Venice

Intelligent, reliable guide to those who want to find

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 Venice

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

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 Venice

Blue is the colour

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 Venice


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 Venice

Essential guide for serious lovers of Venice

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 Venice

A great guide and interesting to read

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.