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What travel books to take with?

This is the first time I'll be traveling to Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice)...I definitely like to explore but also like to be prepared. That being said, not taking my computer; I figure I can find an internet cafe if need be.

I'm just wondering which of my travel books to take...I have Rick Steves' book which, of course, I need to take based on the some of the places I'll be staying (for the Rick Steves discount). I also have pocket books of each city from Frommers and the big Fodor's guide...

Is there a reason to bring the Fodor's Italy with me? It's a bit heavy, but I'm hoping some of you out there might have used some or all of the books and can offer your input.


Posted by
466 posts

Books are heavy as you know!!!! I just bring one book and then write down on paper some things from the other guides that I am interested in seeing. It saves space in your luggage for other things that you may want to being back. Have fun!!! Don't worry so much about the guides, get out there, get lost and explore (you'll stumble upon lots of great things).

Posted by
3313 posts

Books can be heavy and take up some room in my bag (I arrange them around the sides), but I find them invaluable to have with me once I'm there. And they're expensive to buy once there. I do a lot of reading from them as I go.

To the Rick Steves books (I assume you mean the city guides), I would add Lonely Planet's Italy. It fills in the many gaps left by Rick (who concentrates on a few places), is very informative and has good budget restaurant and hotel recommendations.

Posted by
277 posts

I use: Frommers, Steves, D&K, and Lonely Planet. Each will give you a different perspective on the same sights.

Posted by
1446 posts

Hi Kelley. I also have the RS books & the Fodor's Italy book. You are right; the Fodors book is very heavy. I am taking the RS Rome, Tuscany & Italy books (yes, all 3) and then I tore the sections out of the Fodor's book that also apply to the same areas. I agnoized over tearing pages out of a perfectly good book but the Fodor's book is just too big. My husband had suggested scanning the sections of the Fodor's book that I wanted & then uploading them to my Itouch but that sounded like too much work.

Posted by
32265 posts


I generally just take Rick Steves books for the primary areas that I'll be travelling (not all areas). For example, this year I visited France, Italy & Switzerland but I only took the France and Italy RS books.

In my case, this is a question of limited room in the Backpack (which is heavy enough already) so compromises have to be made. The RS books are fairly compact but three books is about the limit.

The RS books provide enough information for my travels, and I find they're a valuable source of reference.

Posted by
536 posts

Kelley - For years Rick's Europe - through the back door has been the bible of travel - He is the top gun when it comes to knowledge about European travel. That said DK EYEWITNESS TRAVEL GUIDES for the various sections you'll be in are also very informative.
And yes. you will have no problem finding Internet Cafes!!
Have a Wonderful Trip!!

Ciao, greg

Posted by
110 posts

I took Rick's book and DK EYEWITNESS Italy TRAVEL GUIDE. I did some other research on restaurants etc and brought along that also. Don't get too caught up in the guide book. Let it be a guide.

Posted by
15678 posts

I really like the DK Top 10 books while I'm traveling, they are small, focused mainly on sightseeing, and cover more than I am likely to be able to see on my visit. I use other guides, and especially the internet, for planning, and I often take printouts and/or photocopies of specific sites, rather than entire books.

Posted by
1170 posts

I took my Rick Steves books (Rome, Florence, Venice) with me my first trip along with some really good AAA books (Rome, Florence, Venice). I never looked at any of them while I was there!! What a very heavy waste of luggage space! However, if you are traveling with others, each of you should take one book each and therefore saving any one person from having to lug them around.

Posted by
492 posts

I usually take a few, depends on where we are planning to visit and where we are spending most of our time as to which ones. Usually I leave them at our hotel/B&B/apartment when we are leaving a place, this lightens the load a little and gives me room for souvenirs. If there is just a section of one book that I want to take with me, I'll just copy those pages and leave the book at home.

Posted by
9436 posts

I do what Nadine said...I xerox the sections I'll need (so I don't ruin my books which I like to keep), then leave each section at the hotel when we leave that area. It makes traveling light really easy. I used to use many different guides, but over the years have narrowed it down to just Rick.