Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: A good guide book for Rome
Simon Calder is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
Tuesday 12 February 2013
Q A friend is going to Rome to celebrate her 60th birthday. Can you recommend a good guide book which I could buy for her? More doing than reading. The internet is awash and I am confused.
A The internet certainly is awash, and I am happy to try to help out. The two big travel guide publishers have good Rome-specific books. The seventh edition of Lonely Planet’s guide (£14.99) is a year old; the Pocket Rough Guide (£7.99) is two years old. The Lonely Planet maps are better, but the Rough Guide - by the excellent Martin Dunford – is more literate.
However, for a short stay, there is an alternative. May I suggest you download and print out our most recent 48 hours in Rome from September, located at bit.ly/Rome48, free of charge. It prescribes the best way to spend two days in the Italian capital. Then buy your friend a priceless treat: a personal tour of one corner of Rome with the excellent James Hill, a British guide who lives in the city and is steeped in its stories. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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