Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: A good guide book for Rome


Click to follow
The Independent Travel

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.

Janet Lloyd

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, 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

Click HERE to email Simon.

You can also tweet him your questions @SimonCalder