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Best Guide Books for Tuscany

Dallas
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Best Guide Books for Tuscany

Does anyone have a favorite guidebook (besides Rick Steves) that they have used when exploring Tuscany? We will be touring the little hilltop towns in October (for 5 days) and I wanted to get more ideas of which towns to tour and which ones to skip. We love history, eating, drinking wine, and shopping (not in that order) so hopefully the guidebooks that you suggest would have that information in them.

Bedfordshire...
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21. Re: Best Guide Books for Tuscany

Blimey, strange to see this thread resurrected after 18 months! My first-choice book for most places is Rough Guide, but Lastraniera is right - "they see the world as I do and I love travelling with them." - You look at various guides and choose the one(s) whose philosophy and opinions are most similar to your own.

I also think that you will often find the guides you consulted on your first visit which not meet your needs when you become a more seasoned traveller to a particular city/area.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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22. Re: Best Guide Books for Tuscany

Is it this one? Secret Florence:

amazon.co.uk/Secret-Florence-Jonglez-Niccolo…

Montepulciano, Italy
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23. Re: Best Guide Books for Tuscany

That's a great book Peggy / everyone if you want to include a few different places in addition to the mainstream sights.

Florence
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24. Re: Best Guide Books for Tuscany

We have been using various editions of the same guide books for more than 30 years.

To decide what we want to see, we use the Blue Guide to Florence and the Blue Guides to various parts of Italy and elsewhere. There is nothing else that gives anything like the political, economic, and social history and the detailed survey of the architectural and artistic sights.

For even greater depth, I haven't found anything to compare with the "Companion Guide" series - especially the three for Rome, Florence and Venice. Eva Borsook's volume on Florence is perhaps the best-one volume work in English on the subject.

And then, of course, there's Mary McCarthy's brilliant, idiosyncratic "Stones of Florence".

As for restaurants and hotels, we have never found anything better than the slightly erratic Michelin Red Guide. At it's worst, it is hopeless, but at its best, it has guided us to simply wonderful, little places, for example, a spectacular little inn in the outskirts of Montepulciano, to perhaps the best seafood meal I have ever had -- in a thoroughly un-lovely little restaurant in Cecina, and to a superb little place in the Oltr'Arno, that was then known only to locals, etc., etc.

Bergen, Norway
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25. Re: Best Guide Books for Tuscany

I agree with most of this post, get a flavour, find the guides that relate to your taste & interests. You are lucky if there is just one that gives 100% of what you want.

We wouldn't however be so disparaging about the eyewitness series. We prefer Insightguides' which are similar but in addition to the pretty pictures, they have good background, history & context. We get them for preparations and even coffee table memories afterwards. Whilst on the road they are however not so useful so we tend to prefer others. Footprint guides is usually our favourite.

Remember that guidebooks usually have a target audience. If you follow one slavishly, then those are the kind of people you will meet on your travels. If your dream trip to Tuscany includes spending your time with (american) Rick Steve types, then go for the Rick Steve book. Otherwise, remember that they are guides and follow your instincts, then you will have your own experiences.

26. Re: Best Guide Books for Tuscany

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