Comments on Blue Guide Central Italy


The first Blue Guide to cover both Rome and Florence in one book, as well as the attractive countryside and towns rich in art history in between the two.

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14 thoughts on “Comments on Blue Guide Central Italy

  1. First, I bought both the paperback and Kindle editions. I bought the paperback first, but it was so thick that it was impossible to carry it with me easily while sightseeing. I then bought the Kindle edition, and had no problems with faults or navigation like the earlier reviewer. One simply must go back to the table of contents (easily done) and then simply click on the site/area one wishes to explore. Like all Blue Guides, it is comprehensive, especially in its descriptions of the major churches of Rome. Some of the walks suggested were really good, and I am glad I followed the book’s advice. However, the author of the book does not hold back when he/she doesn’t think something is worth your time. In a couple of cases, I am glad that I went to a church even though the book said it held little merit. Still, the book made my four-day trip to Rome much more meaningful.

  2. So glad to see an updated edition of one of the finest guide books ever. I relied on its predecessor until so many changes occurred in what it is possible to see in Rome. This is the right book for serious visitors or residents in Rome who want depth of history and solid information. Great for pre-travel study or armchair reflection. This is not the book for people primarily in search of where to eat or where to stay. Best book to take on site for thorough explanation of what you see without the book weight of colored illustrations. A must for the scholarly tourist.

  3. I always find the ‘Blue Guides’ excellent. Very informative and easy to use.

  4. I used an old edition of this years ago. Nice to have an updated copy! The book is very informative with lots of valuable history of the country and concise info on where and what to see.

  5. The ROME BLUE GUIDE became like a talisman for this reviewer. It provided detailed information about each sight including directions, history, photos and drawings. There were recommendations on where to eat and sleep as well as directions on how to get places. Detailed maps were included in the back. Options for public transport were also included. When in doubt about the order of popes or emperors, chronological lists were provided. A detailed index was so helpful. For the most fulfilling visit EVER to the Eternal City, don’t leave home without the Rome Blue Guide!

  6. The Blue Guide tradition of giving full information is capably upheld in the volume about Sicly. This is perfect when you need to know all about an archeological site. I bought this book for a short trip to the island and I found it perfect for learning all the details I crave. I recommend the e- book edition on a Kindle or tablet to avoid lugging around a weighty tome.

  7. I have used Blue Guides before, and always valued them tremendously. Thanks for your work. This was especially true on a recent trip to Italy, though I write to mention that the restaurant above in Spoleto [p. 561] does not exist. As it happened we had a fabulous meal at the nearby Ristorante L’Angolo Antico, which was also very reasonably priced. It was, like the one we sought, off the beaten path, and richly rewarding for it. Another comment I would make is that it often occurred to me that I would have appreciated knowing which sites, churches in particular, charge fees. Even if it is impossible to keep the rates up to date, the fact that a fee is charged would be very useful information. Thanks again.

  8. Please remove this from the next edition of the guide book. Whilst, the description provided is quite accurate “a completely refurbished hotel, inside the shell of an 18th Century Palace”, this premises really should not be recommended or in any way associated with such a classy guide. I stayed overnight on the 7th of Feburary 2012. The staff were friendly and helpful but the interior was dreadful. This began with the cramped bouncing lift-I have come across these before in Italy, I will admit- but bear with me as I describe the scene. The room that I stayed in was found at the end of a horrible floor. The room did have pretty amazing views of the Duomo, but the glass was grubby and full of handprints. The decor was the stuff of a seventies horror movie. Think unrelaxing pastel colours, uninspiring prints in poorly chosen frames, poor carpets and impractical furniture. The en suite was at the top of a little staircase and had the handy shower fitting that requires you to hold the showerhead between your knees to wrinse off.
    Siena is such a beautiful city- this didn´t really detract from my overall exoerience but I think it should be omitted. I did have the pleasure of staying in the B&B Alle Due Porte the following night. Again your description proved to be accurate but the experience was much more enjoyable. The exposed wooden beams were a particularly fine feature. The costs were 99 and 90 euros per night, respectively for 3 adults sharing a room on a B&B basis. I have found the practical information sections in Blue Guides very reliable over the years and I usually pay a lot of attention to your recommendations.
    I would strongly advise any traveller to avoid driving to Siena. Parking is very limited and the car parks difficult to find when approaching the city for the first time. Maybe GPS would help this but old fashioned map reading, signposting and inquiries from the friendly locals proved very difficult. We can compare the experience with Florence and many other Tuscan towns-they didn’t prove to be much of a problem. Siena is well served by public transport.
    Maybe we were unlucky in our choice of room in Hotel Duomo but I wouldn´t chance another one to be honest.

  9. We’ve just come back from a trip to Italy and your guide of Central Italy has been invaluable. I found one copy in the University bookstore in Urbino. We really appreciated all the cultural information and used your recommendations for hotels and restaurants. If it can be of any use to other travellers, here are a few comments. in Urbino the Hotel Bonconte is good value and very pleasant. The restaurant l’Angolo Divino was overpriced and the food was overcooked but we were early and the only ones there. However it is very friendly. We had THE MEAL of our trip in Urbania at the Osteria del Cucco – a dream of a genuine little Italian taverna. The fish restaurant Da Maria Ponte Rosso in Fano was delightful, cheap and very good. In Assisi we stayed at the Hotel Umbra, very well situated (except for getting to it by car) and well run. The Ristorante San Francesco was excellent and reasonable and the Trattoria da Erminio corresponded exactly to our expectations. In Lucca we stayed at the Hotel la Luna, which is ok but quite impossible to drive to, even the Satnav couldn’t handle the one way streets. We ate at the Trattoria da Leo and were disappointed. It is crowded (only tourists) so the service is hyper fast and you are in and out within an hour whilst you were hoping to spend the whole evening there. The food was rustic but not very good.
    I hope the above will be useful. Congratulations for your excellent book and best regards from Switzerland where we live.

    • The two editions are identical (even the spelling), transportation from our European printers means that the books tend to arrive in the US a month later than the UK.

  10. Could you tell me whether you will be publishing a new edition of Blue Guide Umbria in the near future, or whether Umbria will now be covered in the new Central Italy edition? If so, a pity as I have Blue Guides for Florence and Tuscany and I think the new Central Italy edition will be too weighty to accompany sightseeing!

    • Umbria will indeed be in the new Blue Guide Central Italy, which, inevitably will be weighty at around 750 pages – as you know there is such a lot to cover. We did a new edition of Florence in 2004, a new Tuscany is being written now for publication Spring 2009, we have a Marche (2006) (the region is also in the new Central Italy) and will certainly review Umbria after Tuscany is out.
      It is a constant dilemma that we face: more focused books to smaller regions enable us to provide information in the depth we would like but risk only being able to sell in uneconomic quantities. It is a challenge to make a book covering a larger amount of material maintain the level of information and erudition of a real Blue Guide. We hope we have succeeded in the new Central Italy, which also incudes new material on Northern Lazio which hasn’t been in a Blue Guide since the 1950s.

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