Click Engineers love Venice – a completely man-made environment rising from the sea, with no visible means of support. Romantics revel in its atmosphere of elegant decay, seeing the peeling plaster and seaweed-covered stairs as a metaphor for beauty in decline. And first-time visitors are often stirred deeply, awaking from their ordinary lives to a fantasy world unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. –Reprinted from Rick Steves’ Venice, Italy Guide Book
Pages: 460 pages
Dimensions: 4.6 x .8 x 7.9 inches
Weight: 13.6 ounces
Maps: Rick Steves includes hand drawn maps in his books which can be helpful in showing you the layout of an area but are not helpful in getting you to a specific place, especially in larger cities where more street names and landmarks would be helpful. You will definitely need a supplemental street map to accompany those in this book.
Pictures: There are no photographs to speak of
Rick Steves’ sense of humor is not for everyone, so I suggest you read an on-line excerpt on Amazon before you buy one of his books. Also, you should be aware that once Rick Steves suggests a hotel or restaurant Americans will flock there with their little blue books gripped firmly in hand.
What I like about Rick Steves’ Venice, Italy Guide Book:
- The Table of Contents in his city books are organized well unlike in his guidebook to Italy which only points you to the city and not to sites within the city.
- He covers most of the major sites of the city, including information on the islands in the lagoon.
- I prefer guidebooks that focus on a city or region so I do not have to carry big books around and this meets that criteria.
- People who like Rick Steves follow him with an almost fanatical devotion. I have to admit his are among my favorite guidebooks but I am always hesitant to try his small hotels for fear of running into a hoard of Rick Steves devotees.
- The Rick Steves guidebooks provide tips on hotels, restaurants, etc. that are out of the major tourist zones.
- The sites are rated and generally I agree with his ratings.
- Mr. Steves has loads of opinions and he is not afraid to share them. This is helpful for your first trip to Italy and maybe even your second, but as you make repeat trips to a country his advice can become annoying as you start to form your own opinions.
- Suggestions for day trips, walking tours and trip itineraries are provided.
- These guidebooks provide the names of budget hotels and restaurants as well as more expensive places to stay and eat and he often lets you know when it is worth spending the extra money.
- There really is a Rick Steves. It is nice to know that there is a real face behind the books.
- Rick likes to get to know the locals and encourages others to do the same. Strike up a conversation with the staff of a hotel or restaurant. Talk to the person sitting next to you on a train or waiting in line to buy a ticket. These conversations give you insights into the place you are visiting that you will not find in any guidebook. To encourage this Rick Steves provides names of hotel and restaurant owners which is a nice touch, one I have not found in other guidebooks. Since ownership of establishments does not change hands as often in Italy as in the US, chances are the names he provides are still current.
- Side boxes with helpful information are included. These boxes provide information on such things as tipping.
- The “Helpful Hints” section has useful information on avoiding theft, pickpockets, etc., a problem many of us have encountered.
- These books make for good reading before your trip and his folksy style makes you comfortable with traveling to a foreign country.If you have ever seen him on TV you get the feeling that if he can travel then so can I.
- His writing is conversational – you feel like he is talking directly to you.