Italy for Dummies


The ultimate user-friendly guide to la dolce vita! The seven hills of Rome, Vivaldi and Venice, the ruins of Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, pasta, cappuccino, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Armani, opera. Italy is a feast for the senses, and now this wonderful country-rich with history and physical beauty-is accessible as never before with Italy For Dummies. This concise guide pares down this complex destination and you plan the trip that's right for them. It includes:

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The ultimate user-friendly guide to la dolce vita! The seven hills of Rome, Vivaldi and Venice, the ruins of Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, pasta, cappuccino, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Armani, opera. Italy is a feast for the senses, and now this wonderful country-rich with history and physical beauty-is accessible as never before with Italy For Dummies. This concise guide pares down this complex destination and you plan the trip that's right for them. It includes:

  • Easy-to-do suggested itineraries that offer a taste of both cities and the countryside
  • Expert advice on finding the most charming small hotels and trattorie
  • Tips for avoiding the crowds and beating culture burnout
  • Essential information on Rome, Venice, Florence and Tuscany,
  • Naples and the Amalfi Coast, and Sicily
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470069325
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/23/2007
  • Series: For Dummies Travel Series , #84
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 552
  • Product dimensions: 8.48 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Murphy was born in New York City, where he continues to live when not traveling and working on projects as a freelance writer.

Alessandra de Rosa is a world traveler and professional tourist who has also worked for the United Nations.

Bruce and Alessandra also collaborated on New York City For Dummies (published by Wiley).

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Table of Contents

Introduction     1
About This Book     1
Conventions Used in This Book     2
Foolish Assumptions     3
How This Book Is Organized     4
Introducing Italy     4
Planning Your Trip to Italy     4
The Eternal City: Rome     4
Florence and the Best of Tuscany and Umbria     4
Venice and the Best of the Pianura Padana     4
Naples, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast     4
Sicily     5
The Part of Tens     5
Appendix A and B     5
Icons Used in This Book     5
Where to Go from Here     6
Introducing Italy     7
Discovering the Best of Italy     9
The Best Museums     9
The Best Churches     10
The Best Ruins and Archaeological Areas     11
The Best Luxury Hotels     12
The Best Gourmet Restaurants     12
The Best Travel Experiences     13
The Best Traditional Italian Souvenirs     14
Digging Deeper into Italy     15
History 101: The Main Events     15
Architecture: From Ruins to Rococo     20
A Taste of Italy:Eating (and Drinking) Locally     22
Relishing Roman cuisine     25
Tasting Tuscany     26
Visiting Venetian and Milanese eateries     27
Gnawing Neapolitan delicacies     27
Savoring Sicily     28
Background Check: Recommended Books and Movies     29
True stories     29
Works of fiction     30
The moving image     30
Deciding Where and When to Go     32
Going Everywhere You Want to Be     32
Roaming Rome     32
Exploring Florence and the best of Tuscany and Umbria     33
Viewing Venice and the Pianura Padana     33
Visiting Naples, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast     34
Seeing Sicily     34
Scheduling Your Time     35
Revealing the Secrets of the Seasons     36
April through June     37
July and August     37
September and October     37
November through March     38
Perusing a Calendar of Events     38
January     38
February     39
March/April     39
May     39
June     40
July      40
August     41
September     41
October     41
November     41
December     41
Following an Itinerary: Four Great Options     43
Seeing Italy's Highlights in One Week     43
Day 1     43
Day 2 and 3     43
Day 4     44
Day 5 and 6     44
Day 7     44
Touring the Best of Italy in Two Weeks     44
Day 1, 2, and 3     44
Day 4 and 5     44
Day 6, 7, and 8     44
Day 9 and 10     44
Day 11     45
Day 12     45
Day 13     45
Day 14     45
Discovering Italy with Kids     45
Day 1 and 2     46
Day 3     46
Day 4 and 5     46
Day 6 and 7     46
Unearthing Italy's Ancient History     47
Day 1 and 2     47
Day 3     47
Day 4     47
Day 5     47
Day 6     48
Day 7     48
Planning Your Trip to Italy     49
Managing Your Money      51
Planning Your Budget     51
Transportation     52
Lodging     53
Dining     54
Sightseeing     55
Shopping     55
Nightlife     55
Cutting Costs - But Not the Fun     56
Handling Money     58
Making sense of the euro     58
Using ATMs and carrying cash     59
Charging ahead with credit cards     61
Toting traveler's checks     61
Taking Taxes into Account     62
Dealing with a Lost or Stolen Wallet     62
Getting to Italy     64
Flying to Italy     64
Finding out which airlines fly there     64
Getting the best deal on your airfare     65
Cutting costs by using consolidators     66
Booking your flight online     67
Arriving by Other Means     67
Joining an Escorted Tour     68
Choosing a Package Tour     70
Getting Around Italy     72
By Plane     72
By Train     73
By Bus     74
By Ferry     74
By Car     74
Booking Your Accommodations      78
Getting to Know Your Options     78
Finding the Best Room at the Best Rate     81
Finding the best rate     81
Surfing the Web for hotel deals     82
Reserving the best room     83
Renting Apartments and Villas     84
Catering to Special Travel Needs or Interests     85
Traveling with the Brood: Advice for Families     85
Making Age Work for You: Tips for Seniors     86
Accessing Italy: Advice for Travelers with Disabilities     87
Following the Rainbow: Resources for Gay and Lesbian Travelers     88
Making the Grade: Advice for Student Travelers     89
Taking Care of the Remaining Details     90
Getting a Passport     90
Applying for a U.S. passport     90
Applying for other passports     91
Playing It Safe with Travel and Medical Insurance     92
Staying Healthy When You Travel     93
Staying Connected by Cellphone or E-mail     94
Using a cellphone in Italy     94
Accessing the Internet away from home     95
Keeping Up with Airline Security     97
Saving Time with Advance Reservations     98
The Eternal City: Rome      99
Settling into Rome     101
Getting There     101
By air     101
By train     104
Orienting Yourself in Rome     105
Introducing the neighborhoods     106
Finding information after you arrive     110
Getting Around Rome     111
By subway (metropolitana)     111
By bus and tram     112
On foot     113
By taxi     113
Staying in Style     113
The top hotels     114
Runner-up accommodations     123
Dining Out     124
Fast Facts: Rome     135
Exploring Rome     138
Discovering Rome's Top Attractions     139
Visiting the Vatican's Top Attractions     153
Finding More Cool Things to See and Do     158
Seeing Rome by Guided Tour     161
Bus tours     161
Walking tours     162
Boat tours     162
Suggested One-, Two-, and Three-Day Itineraries     162
Rome in one day     162
Rome in two days     163
Rome in three days     163
Shopping the Local Stores      164
Best shopping areas     164
What to look for and where to find it     165
Living It Up After Dark     168
The performing arts     169
All that jazz and more     170
Historic cafes     170
Wine bars and pubs     170
Dance clubs     171
Gay and lesbian bars     171
Florence and the Best of Tuscany and Umbria     173
Florence     175
Getting There     175
By air     175
By train     176
By car     177
Orienting Yourself in Florence     177
Introducing the neighborhoods     177
Finding information after you arrive     181
Getting Around Florence     182
On foot     182
By bus     182
Staying in Style     183
The top hotels     186
Runner-up accommodations     190
Dining Out     190
Exploring Florence     197
Discovering the top attractions     197
Finding more cool things to see and do     212
Seeing Florence by guided tour     213
Suggested one-, two-, and three-day itineraries      214
Shopping the Local Stores     215
Best shopping areas     216
What to look for and where to find it     216
Living It Up After Dark     218
The performing arts     218
Bars, pubs, and clubs     219
Discos     219
Gay and lesbian bars     219
Fast Facts: Florence     220
Northern Tuscany and the Cinque Terre     223
Lucca     223
Getting there     226
Spending the night     226
Dining locally     228
Exploring Lucca     229
Fast Facts: Lucca     233
Pisa     234
Getting there     234
Spending the night     235
Dining locally     237
Exploring Pisa     238
Fast Facts: Pisa     244
The Cinque Terre     245
Getting there     245
Spending the night     247
Dining locally     248
Exploring the Cinque Terre     250
Fast Facts: The Cinque Terre     253
Southern Tuscany and Umbria     255
San Gimignano     256
Getting there      256
Spending the night     256
Dining locally     258
Exploring San Gimignano     260
Fast Facts: San Gimignano     262
Siena     262
Getting there     262
Spending the night     265
Dining locally     268
Exploring Siena     269
Shopping for local treasures     275
Fast Facts: Siena     275
Perugia     276
Getting there     276
Spending the night     277
Dining locally     278
Exploring Perugia     280
Fast Facts: Perugia     284
Assisi     284
Getting there     285
Spending the night     285
Dining locally     286
Exploring Assisi     288
Fast Facts: Assisi     292
Spoleto     292
Getting there     293
Spending the night     293
Dining locally     294
Exploring Spoleto     296
Fast Facts: Spoleto     298
Venice and the Best of the Pianura Padana     299
Venice     301
Getting There      301
By air     302
By train     302
By car     303
By ship     303
Orienting Yourself in Venice     303
Introducing the neighborhoods     304
Finding information after you arrive     306
Getting Around Venice     307
On foot     307
By vaporetto     308
By traghetto (ferry skiff)     309
By water taxi     309
Staying in Style     310
The top hotels     310
Runner-up accommodations     317
Dining Out     317
Exploring Venice     324
Discovering the top attractions     325
Finding more cool things to see and do     336
Seeing Venice by guided tour     339
Suggested one-, two-, and three-day itineraries     340
Shopping the Local Stores     341
Best shopping areas     341
What to look for and where to find it     342
Living It Up After Dark     343
The performing arts     343
Bars, pubs, and clubs     344
Cafes     344
Venice's Casino     344
Fast Facts: Venice      345
Padua, Verona, and Milan     347
Padua: Home of Giotto's Fabulous Frescoes     347
Getting there     348
Spending the night     348
Dining locally     352
Exploring Padua     353
Fast Facts: Padua     357
Verona: City of Juliet and Romeo     358
Getting there     358
Spending the night     358
Dining locally     360
Exploring Verona     361
Fast Facts: Verona     365
Milan: Italy's Business and Fashion Center     366
Getting there     366
Getting around     367
Spending the night     367
Dining locally     370
Exploring Milan     372
Shopping the local stores     375
Living it up after dark     376
Fast Facts: Milan     377
Naples, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast     379
Naples     381
Getting There     381
By air     381
By train     382
By ferry or ship     382
By car     382
Orienting Yourself in Naples     384
Introducing the neighborhoods     385
Finding information after you arrive     388
Getting Around Naples     388
On foot     388
By subway, bus, funicular, and tram     389
By taxi     389
Staying in Style     389
The top hotels     390
Runner-up accommodations     391
Dining Out     392
Exploring Naples     395
Discovering the top attractions     396
Finding more cool things to see and do     402
Seeing Naples by guided tour     404
Suggested one-, two-, and three-day itineraries     404
Shopping the Local Stores     406
Best shopping areas     406
What to look for and where to find it     406
Living It Up After Dark     407
The performing arts     407
Live music     407
Clubs and discos     408
Wine bars and cafes     408
Fast Facts: Naples     408
Going Beyond Naples: Three Day Trips     411
Campi Flegrei     411
Getting there     411
Taking a tour     412
Seeing the sights     412
Dining locally      414
Spending the night     415
Herculaneum     415
Getting there     415
Taking a tour     415
Seeing the sights     416
Pompeii     419
Getting there     419
Taking a tour     419
Seeing the sights     419
Dining locally     422
Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast     423
Sorrento     423
Getting there     423
Spending the night     424
Dining locally     425
Exploring Sorrento     426
Living it up after dark     427
Fast Facts: Sorrento     428
Capri and the Blue Grotto     429
Getting there     429
Spending the night     430
Dining locally     431
Exploring Capri     432
Shopping for local treasures     434
Living it up after dark     436
Fast Facts: Capri     436
The Amalfi Coast     436
Getting there     438
Spending the night     439
Dining locally     441
Exploring the Amalfi Coast     443
Living it up after dark     449
Fast Facts: The Amalfi Coast     449
Sicily     451
Palermo     453
Getting There     453
By ferry     453
By air     454
By train     454
Orienting Yourself in Palermo     456
Introducing the neighborhoods     456
Finding information after you arrive     458
Getting Around Palermo     458
On foot     459
By bus     459
By taxi     459
Staying in Style     460
The top hotels     460
Runner-up accommodations     462
Dining Out     462
Exploring Palermo     465
Discovering the top attractions     465
Finding more cool things to see and do     472
Seeing Palermo by guided tour     473
Suggested one-, two-, and three-day itineraries     474
Living It Up After Dark     475
Fast Facts: Palermo     476
Taormina, Syracuse, and Agrigento     478
Taormina     478
Getting there     480
Spending the night     480
Dining locally      482
Exploring Taormina     483
Fast Facts: Taormina     487
Syracuse     488
Getting there     488
Spending the night     489
Dining locally     490
Exploring Syracuse     490
Fast Facts: Syracuse     494
Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples     495
Getting there     495
Spending the night     495
Dining locally     496
Exploring Agrigento     497
Fast Facts: Agrigento     500
The Part of Tens     501
Non Capisco: The Top Ten Expressions You Need to Know     503
Per Favore     503
Grazie     503
Permesso     504
Scusi     504
Buon Giorno and Buona Sera     504
Arrivederci     504
Dov'e     505
Quanto Costa?     505
Che Cos'e?     505
Non Capisco     505
Ten Great Italian Artists     506
Giotto     506
Donatello     506
Giovanni Bellini     507
Leonardo da Vinci     507
Michelangelo      507
Raphael     508
Titian     508
Tintoretto     508
Gian Lorenzo Bernini     508
Caravaggio     509
Quick Concierge     510
Fast Facts     510
Toll-Free Numbers and Web Sites     515
Where to Get More Information     516
Visitor information     516
Newspapers and magazines about Italy     518
Online resources     519
Glossary of Architectural and Menu terms     520
Knowing Your Nave from Your Ambone     520
Dining in Italy, from Acqua Pazza to Zuppa Inglese     522
Index     529
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the Best Guides for a Trip to Italy!

    The more I read this book, the more impressed I am with it. The information provided is so useful, logical, and down to Earth, it pretty much leaves no room for questions of our own! The information provided is absolutely invaluable. I wouldn't go to Italy without it. I love it so much that I purchased one as a gift for my Mom and Dad, who are accompanying us on our dream trip to Italy. If I weren't so thrilled with this book, I would have just given it to them to read as an aside; but this is one book I knew they would devour before our long-awaited trip. If you are going to Italy, or just thinking about going, do not hesitate to purchase this book as part of your research and inspiration! You won't regret it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2008

    Very Helpful

    This was a very helpful book to plan cheap, fun travels to Italy. It tells you the price of hotels, food, plane tickets, and more. It talks about a lot of attractions and where to find them. You will find out what to see and do day by day for the length of time you will be there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2003

    Highly recommended

    This is very detailed in terms of every sight you should visit in Italy as well as hotels and restaurants. Very informative. The only drawback is there is no pictures. If you read this book along with the DK Travel Eyewitness Book of Italy, it will be wonderful as it contains a lot of colorful pictures. The drawback of the DK Eyewitness book is the print is too small.

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