Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: A good guide book for Rome
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
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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