The Perfect Guide Book

I’ve been doing some planning for a trip to Italy in May.  Things are going great, and I’m now checking guide books for information.  And here’s where I have some suggestions for the researchers of these books for things that I really want to know, such as:

  • Where to find gelato anywhere in Italy.  And I don’t just mean the “best” places to find it.   I feel that any gelato is delicious when you’re in Italy!  So list everywhere there is gelato, and what flavors they have.  I seriously doubt there are any bad choices.
  • Where to find the best markets or shops to buy leather goods and other items that I’m (supposedly) buying as gifts, but in reality I’ll keep for myself…

  • Where the best places are to wear sunglasses and be mistaken for a celebrity.

  • Where to park a vehicle in Rome.

  • Where to find chocolate anywhere in Italy.  This is valuable information that belongs in Chapter 1.

These are just a few of the questions that I haven’t found answers for (yet) in any guide books.  But I’ll keep reading, or I’ll have to keep my own notes for future reference.

84 thoughts on “The Perfect Guide Book

  1. I love the photos. I also like to research my trips before I take one so I can get the most out of it and don’t miss anything. Since I take a lot of pictures I want to prepare in advance, if possible, the best location to take my photos. Thanks for sharing. Good advice for going to Italy.


  2. Actually, I think you have just provided yourself with a great outlne for your own travel book on Italy. These really are the important matters that are overlooked in travel books–maybe it is your “calling” to rectify the matter. Think about it.
    ~~Bliss (I wish I could’ve ended this with, “have your people call my people” but I have no people–sorry.) ; )

  3. How wonderful that you’ll once again be traveling to Italy! And this time, take pictures of all the things you’ll want to include in YOUR guidebook! Maybe that will be in your future…a guidebook to all the “unbeaten” paths along the way! :-) Debra

  4. Hi,
    What a wonderful trip this will be, and your questions are very important ones, especially finding out about the chocolate, that would definitely be on the top of my list. :D

    Love the photos, it all looks very exciting.

  5. Great questions to add to a guide book and maybe ask it from a local’s standpoint. When I have questions like this I ask the questions on a social media app and usually get pretty good suggestions from travelers or locals (this may be a little harder with international travel). Have a Great Day:)

  6. Grom apparently is the best gelato in Italy. It was started in Torino by 2 brothers. I have tested it in Torino, Milano, Siena, Mantova, Bologna and Florence and I haven’t had a bad one yet. My favourite flavour just now is maron glade, I can’t get enough of it. I will be back in Florence tomorrow for another test.
    San Crispino is supposed to be the best in Rome. There is a shop near the Trevi Fountain and another near the Pantheon. My favourite here is liquoriza.
    Near us here in Bagni di Lucca we have delicious gelato made daily by the delicious Paolo. Here I can’t go past pistachio and nocciola.
    Best coffee in Rome is a toss up between Tazza d’Oro and Cafe St Eustachio.
    Best cafe in Florence is Giacosa without a doubt.
    What is not to love about Italy?????

    • Thank you so much for this information about gelato, coffee and cafes! I’m going to be in many of these cities and I’ll definitely be checking them out (as many as possible). And the flavors you mention sound delicious! I think that sightseeing while enjoying a gelato is one of my favorite memories of being in Italy. And I agree with you – Italy is a place to love… :)

  7. I forgot to book ahead to go up the leaning tower. That would be a good tip, though I suspect the guide told me that and I still forgot.

    I’m so looking forward to seeing your Italy pictures.

  8. Great idea for a guide book or at the very least, a chapter devoted to the really important things we really, really need to know :-)

    We found one of those pick and mix chocolate shops in Venice, wish I could remember where but it was not far from Campo Santa Formosa (hope I got that right) and they had Perugian chocolates as well as Lindt. There was also a lovely bakery not far from the Rialto Bridge on the way to the Frari church, heavenly pastries.

    I’m so looking forward to following your trip to Italy, happy planning!

    • I will definitely look for those chocolate and pastry shops when I’m in Venice. I’m sure I’ll need to “sample” some of both to keep my strength up for shopping and other important activities! Thanks for the good suggestions… :)

  9. I agree that you should write a guide book. You needn’t cover all the stuff the other books cover though, just the bits they’ve missed out. You’ve spotted a gap in the market and you’re ideally placed to fill it. I’m looking forward to your trip!

  10. There is no ‘bad’ gelato or chocolate in Italy. Grab some at every opportunity. And why not write a guide book? You already have great information and the basis for a fun and inspiring trip. Go for it!

    • Just the idea of delicious gelato (and chocolate) is making me hungry! I’ll take good notes and lots of photos while I’m in Italy. Thanks for the suggestion about a guide book, too!

  11. Just got back from Italy and in my opinion the best coffee and the best ice-cream (I know you didn’t actually want to know this!) is from Polignano in Pulia less than an hour’s drive down from Bari.

    Wonderful area and I’ve lots of posts and photos that I’ll be sharing soon. Hope you have a fantastic time and I look forward to reading more of your posts on Italy.

    • I’m delighted that you listed some of your favorite places for gelato and coffee! Thanks for sharing that information, and I’m looking forward to reading your posts too :)

    • Italy is a wonderful place, and I hope you get to go there soon! I really like your idea about a guide to Italy – it gives me another reason to “sample” lots of gelato … :)

  12. Your photos are lovely and remind me of my trips to Italy…Rome, Venice, the Ponte Vecchio….ahhhhh…how wonderful that you get to travel all the time to such perfect places even in their inperfections. Have fun.

  13. Nothing worse than coming back from a trip only to find that the best chocolate was hand made in the little shop in the hotel around the corner from your digs. Research, research, research. It gets those anticipatory (I think I just made that up) juices flowing. Have a great trip.

  14. We love love love the gelato at this little place in Florence:

    “Gelateria dei Neri is at Via dei Neri 20-22, toward the center from the river and Ponte alla Grazie”

    If you have not done any research at they have great info and usually accurate accounts of places and things.

    You’re making me hungry! & anxious for our trip in May!!!

  15. Might be a very thick and heavy book, Meg – my own experience of Italy is that there is a gelateria on every street corner, and if not, a decent gelati in every bakers as well – just as it should be!

  16. Meg: Thank you for stopping by my blog and for liking my post on Florence. I guess I did partially answer to a couple of of your question: chocolate and gelato. If you would like me to share more of my faves in Italy, you know where I am! Congrats on your great blog. . . beautiful pictures!

    • I read your post about Florence, and it gave me some great ideas of where to visit! I learned a lot and I hope to see some of them when I’m there… :) And thank you!

  17. While Lonely Planet still ranks as my number one guide book – my inspiration comes from travel blogs! I hope you found the answers to your question – and feel free to share! I am not sure if I will make it to Italy on my next trip to Europe, but would love to find the best gelato if I do! Hope you had an amazing time! Am behind on my blog reading – will have to check your posts for tales from Italy!

    • I did have a great time in Italy, and I sampled a lot of gelato. And I like checking blogs for travel information too – reading about experiences people have is very useful!

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