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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Gravatar: ReaderReader
Central Italy Ristorante degli Abeti in Spoleto

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.

Gravatar: ReaderReader

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.

Gravatar: ReaderReader

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.

Gravatar: Judith Klinger, Aroma CucinaJudith Klinger, Aroma Cucina

Umbria is an absolute gem of a region. Food, wine, scenery, mountains, plains, lentils, black celery, truffles, art and some pretty special medieval hilltop towns!

Gravatar: PublisherPublisher

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.

Gravatar: readerreader

The United States and British web sites give different publication dates for this volume ( [June 2, 2008] and [April 2008-). Will there be any differences between the two editions other than spelling?

Gravatar: PublisherPublisher

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.

Gravatar: ReaderReader

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!


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