National Geographic Traveler Italy

National Geographic Traveler Italy
Book Cover

Italy has created many of the world’s most sublime works of art, literature, and architecture, spawned some of the greatest empires of the ancient and medieval world, and since World War II, has emerged as one of Europe’s wealthiest and more economically vibrant countries. It also designs and produces many of the world’s most exquisite fashions, has evolved one of the world’s finest cuisines and posses a medley of landscapes as beautiful and varied as any in Europe. Few cultures are as beguiling, and few countries are as rich and endlessly fascinating.- Reprinted from National Geographic Italy

Pages: 400

Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches

Weight: 1.4 pounds

Maps: Regional maps, limited number of street maps. Since the book is too heavy to carry with you there is not really a need for street maps

Pictures: Excellent pictures printed on glossy paper

What I like about the National Geographic Traveler Italy:

  • This guide provides excellent background information on Italy – the history, culture, food, literature, cinema, architecture, etc.
  • These books are geared towards people who want more than just information on where to stay and eat. The writing is excellent and the book is packed full of facts about cities and sites. The book is written in the style of the National Geographic Traveler magazine, meaning it reads more like it is written by a travel writer than most other guidebooks
  • Gives suggestions for walks and drives as well as information on lesser known sites
  • Contact information for the tourist information centers is provided
  • These books are not geared to travelers on either end of the budget spectrum i.e. they are not for the budget conscious nor are they for the luxury traveler
  • Addresses, phone numbers and a cost guide are included for popular sites. Days closed is given, however, hours of operation are not provided for most sites
  • Little pieces of information are scattered throughout the books such as the following quote from Percy Bysshe Shelley on Lake Como “This Lake exceeds any thing I ever beheld in beauty…The union of culture and the untamable profusion and loveliness of nature here is so close, that the line where they are divided can hardly be discovered.”
  • The book has architectural drawings of many large Italian Cathedrals such as the Duomo in Milan the Basilica di San Marco in Venice, that show the interior and exteriors of the cathedrals in one picture
  • There is a very short section on practical information to help you get around

What I Don’t Like about the National Geographic Traveler Italy:

  • This book is definitely too heavy to carry with you every day
  • Although there is information on accommodations, restaurants and shopping other guides are more useful for this type of information
  • I would not recommend this book if it is the only guidebook you are buying because it is lacking in the practicalities of getting around cities and regions. This is the perfect book if you are making a return trip to Italy.

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