Book Review: Italy by Lonely Planet

I’m a big fan of Lonely Planet guides. I never used to be before I went travelling, preferring the ones with the wanderlust-worthy photos and colourful pages. But after using ‘Southeast Asia On A Shoestring‘ for 4 months whilst backpacking the Indochina loop, I was converted.

So when I headed to Italy last month, I made sure I had Lonely Planet’s Italy guide in tow!

Lonely Planet's Italy - Pisa

The guide gave me just enough of an introduction to each of the places I was visiting, so I knew what kind of thing to expect, whilst still staying on topic and not rambling on too much. These country guides are big enough after all, without a whole load of blurb that you just don’t need.

Something I also love about Lonely Planet guides is that they offer small localised maps of each of the city centres. I’m a map geek, I like to know my bearings, so I love this kind of thing. That way you can gauge how far apart the sights are and how much you can feasibly fit into one day!

What I liked about the Italy guide in particular was that they listed the local cuisine specialities! So I knew what I should order for dinner that night. If Génova is famous for pesto, I need to check it out!

Lonely Planet's Italy - RiomaggioreLonely Planet's Italy - Riomaggiore

It was also handy to know that I shouldn’t eat at the restaurants close to the tower of Pisa as they tend to be tourist menu’s that are over-priced and under-flavoured. Thanks for the tip LP!

Overall I’m pretty happy with Lonely Planet’s Italy guide. It was a good balance of the fluffy stuff you want from a guide such as fun things to do and local specialities, mixed with the practical information like how to get from the airport to your hotel. And LP tend to be a lot more budget-friendly than some other series of travel guide.

Ok ok, I’ll stop talking about Lonely Planet now.

Have you used Lonely Planet’s travel guides? Are you a fan? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!


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