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(Lonely Planet) ISBN 978-1741043112

This Lonely Planet guide is a comprehensive 924-page immersion into Italy's history, culture, sights, foods and wines. Readers learn about Italian weather, festivals, World Heritage Sites, parks, architecture, music, hotels, restaurants, adventure activities, how to get there and what it costs.

The well-organized book is too heavy and too thick to carry in your back pocket, but it is too helpful to leave behind. The tone is light and informative, with lots of detail, e.g., a sidebar describes the reason why people confuse the spelling of San Remo and Sanremo.

Shopping in Milan

Each chapter of Lonely Planet's Italy begins with highlights. For example, Lombardy and the Lakes recommends visiting Peck, which sells more than 3,200 types of Parmesan cheese in Milan. The chapter also provides addresses and prices for hostels, camping and hotels, e.g., Campeggio Citta di Milano and Hotel De Albertis in Milan.

Readers learn where to buy tickets for musicals at Teatro Smeraldo, sports events at the San Siro Stadium and concerts (Box Tickets, Ticket One and Ticket Web). A sidebar describes Italian designer clothing and fashion shows, discount clothing outlets and places to buy bargain designer fashions.

City maps

Small color photos illustrate markets such as Mercato di Ballaro in Palermo, festivals like Il Palio in Siena and hiking up Mt. Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Detailed Italian city and town maps identify locations of tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants, bars, stores, bus and train terminals.

The Outdoors chapter describes adventure trips in Italy, like hiking through the Dolomites on one of four alte vie high routes, windsurfing on Lago Di Garda and mountain biking on Monte Baldo.

A green travel index describes eco-friendly Italian restaurants, hotels and sightseeing such as Parco Nazionale della Majella in Abruzzo.

Italian pastries

Lonely Planet's Italy tells readers about Italian food specialties and restaurants, e.g., latterie (milk bars) in Lombardy and dishes made with the 600 varieties of pasta found in Italy. It gives examples of Italian pastries such as ciambella (Italian donuts) and maritozzi (sweet buns).

The Sardinia chapter describes the island's highlights: Diving Center Capo Galera, restaurants in San Pietro, Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago di La Maddalena, the Costa Verde and semi freddo ice cream at Isola del Gelato in Cagliari. It explains how to get to Sardinia by ferry, where to buy tickets and the length of the trip. A sidebar describes boat trips along the coast, with costs and dates available, e.g., Cala Gonone Charter offers full-day sailboat cruises.

How to reduce travel costs

The Venice chapter explains the types of streets in Venice — canale (canal), rio tera (a filled-in waterway) and fondamenta (a street along a canal). It helps readers understand the difference between piazza (St. Mark's Square), campo (all other squares) and campiello (small squares).

A sidebar provides information on discount admission to Venice museums, attractions and transportation, e.g., the Venice Card offers discounts for ferries, buses, bars, restaurants and shops, as well as free access to public toilets.



  • On the Road
  • Italy Highlights
  • Destination Italy
  • Getting Started
  • Events Calendar
  • Itineraries
  • History
  • Italian Art
  • The Culture
  • Food and Drink
  • Environment
  • Rome and Lazio
    • Rome
      • Architecture
    • Lazio
  • Liguria, Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta
    • Liguria
    • Piedmont
    • Valle d'Aosta
  • Lombardy and the Lakes
    • Milan
    • South of Milan
    • East of Milan
    • The Lakes
  • Trentino-Alto Adige
    • Trentino
    • Alto Adige
  • The Veneto
    • Venice
    • Around the Veneto
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia
    • Trieste
    • Gorizia
    • Grado
    • Udine
    • Tarvisio and the Giulie Alps
    • Carnia
  • Emilia-Romagna and San Marino
    • Bologna
    • West of Bologna
    • East of Bologna
      • Live to Eat
    • San Marino
  • Tuscany
    • Florence
    • Around Florence
    • Northern and Western Tuscany
    • Central Tuscany
    • Southern Tuscany
    • Eastern Tuscany
  • Umbria and Le Marche
    • Umbria
    • Le Marche
  • Abruzzo and Molise
    • Abruzzo
    • Molise
  • Campania
    • Naples
    • Around Naples
    • Bay of Naples
    • South of Naples
    • Amalfi Coast
    • South of Salerno
  • Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria
    • Puglia
    • Basilicata
    • Calabria
  • Sicily
    • Palermo
    • Around Palermo
    • Tyrrhenian Coast
    • Aeolian Islands
      • Outdoors
    • Ionian Coast
    • Southeastern Sicily
    • Central and Southern Sicily
    • Western Sicily
  • Sardinia
    • Cagliari
    • Around Cagliari
    • Southwestern Sardinia
    • Western Sardinia
    • Northern Sardinia
    • Eastern Sardinia

The Authors
Behind the Scenes
World Time Zones
Map Legend


Damien Simonis, Alison Bing, Richard Hammond, Duncan Garwood, Abigail Hole, Catherine Le Nevez, Alex Leviton, Virginia Maxwell, Leif Pettersen, Josephine Quintero, Nicola Williams

More things to see and do in Italy:

Brescia Italy Travel Guide

Rome City Guide

Piedmont Italy Cuisine

Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy

Grandi Vini - Italy's 89 finest wines

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