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Visiting Rome can be more than a bit overwhelming. It is not just the hustle and bustle of a busy European city. There are lots of fellow tourists, things work differently than what we are used to and there is an immense number of different activities to choose from. With large crowds and too many options availabe, you will have to make choices. We highly recommend properly planning your visit to Italy. The travel books and travel guides in this post are here to help you on your way. We have hand picked all of these books!

Rome is one of Europe’s most famous destinations. It is also a city that has become known for overtourism. Over the last years, my wife and myself have traveled to the Italian capital on numerous occasions. We know how cruise crowds can make the city busy but also know where to find the quiet places. All our research has been done using the travel books we recommend here.

This guide was updated in March 2024 and contains affiliate links.

“Lonely Planet Pocket Rome” by Paula Hardy and Abigail Blasi is the quintessential guide for travelers looking to dive into the heart of Rome, exploring its rich history, iconic architecture, and vibrant local life. This compact and easily navigable guidebook is designed to maximize your experience in the Eternal City, neighborhood by neighborhood. From marveling at the ancient glory of the Forum and Colosseum to making a wish at the Trevi Fountain or enjoying authentic Italian cuisine in a cozy trattoria, this guide ensures that you don’t miss out on anything Rome has to offer. Packed with full-color maps, travel photography, tailored itineraries, insider tips, and honest reviews for all budgets, it’s the perfect companion for those seeking a comprehensive yet brief visit to Rome. Whether you’re interested in ancient sites, art, food, or fashion, “Lonely Planet Pocket Rome” offers the best advice for discovering the city’s top experiences and hidden gems, all in a pocket-sized format that’s ideal for quick trips.

Who should buy this book and why:

  • 🏛️ History enthusiasts: Dive into Rome’s ancient past with detailed sections on iconic landmarks.
  • 🍝 Foodies: Explore the best local dining spots with recommendations for every budget.
  • 🚶‍♂️ City explorers: Navigate the city easily with pull-out maps and neighborhood guides, making the most of your visit, whether you’re there for a weekend or longer.
Lonely Planet Pocket Rome

“Lonely Planet Rome” is an essential guide for anyone planning a trip to Italy’s storied capital. Crafted by Duncan Garwood, Alexis Averbuck, and Virginia Maxwell, this guidebook offers the most relevant, up-to-date advice on experiencing the best of Rome. Whether you’re interested in wandering through iconic piazzas, delving into history at the Roman Forum, or marveling at the Sistine Chapel, this book ensures you’ll fully appreciate the depth and beauty of Rome. With new features tapping into cultural trends and hidden gems, planning tools for families, detailed maps, and cultural insights, this guide provides a comprehensive exploration of the city. From ancient ruins to vibrant street life, and from exquisite cuisine to remarkable art and architecture, “Lonely Planet Rome” invites you to discover the heart of Rome through the eyes of locals but with the curiosity of a traveler. It’s designed to help you tailor your trip to your interests, with insider tips to save time and money, ensuring a journey filled with unforgettable experiences.

Who should buy this book and why:

  • 🏛️ History and art lovers: With in-depth coverage of Rome’s rich history, art, and architecture, this guide is invaluable for those looking to immerse themselves in the city’s cultural treasures.
  • 🍝 Food enthusiasts: Rome’s culinary scene is explored with recommendations for all budgets, making it a must-have for foodies.
  • 🌍 First-time visitors: Offering a broad overview of the city’s neighborhoods and must-see attractions, this guide is perfect for those making their initial foray into the Eternal City.

“Moon Rome Walks” offers an immersive way to experience Rome as the locals do: on foot. This guidebook invites you to explore the Eternal City’s vibrant neighborhoods, from the chic streets of Prati to the historic alleys of Trastevere and the artistic vibe of Monti. With color-coded stops and turn-by-turn directions, you’re encouraged to discover Rome’s famous sites and hidden gems at your own pace. The book provides top ten lists for everything from dining to nightlife, ensuring you find places that match your interests. Whether you’re looking to admire the craftsmanship of traditional artisans, enjoy a leisurely evening walk through Villa Borghese, or explore the ancient wonders of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, “Moon Rome Walks” has you covered. It also guides you to locally-loved spots away from the tourist crowds, offering a more authentic Roman experience. Equipped with foldout maps of each route and a removable full-city map, this guide fits easily into your pocket, making it a convenient companion for your Roman adventure.

Please note, a new edition titled “Moon Rome Walks: See the City Like a Local” will be released on November 5, 2024. For those interested in the latest and most updated guide, you can find it here: The new Moon Walks on Amazon.

Who should buy this book and why:

  • 🚶‍♀️ City explorers: Ideal for travelers who love to explore cities by walking, offering detailed walking routes and maps.
  • 🍕 Food enthusiasts: With recommendations for authentic dining experiences, from pizza al taglio to innovative restaurants.
  • 🎨 Culture and history buffs: For those interested in delving into Rome’s rich cultural and historical heritage, with guides to famous artworks, ancient sites, and neighborhood stories.
Moon Walks Rome

Rick Steves is a famous American travel author and TV personality. Steves has published strong and useful travel books for many destinations in Europe. This travel guide for Rome is most definitely not an exception. The book is written for travellers that stay a week or longer in the city. It includes Steves’ ‘strategic advice’ on how to best spend your time and money during your stay in the capital of Italy. It also has an overview of top sights and hidden gems. Each book by Rick Steves also comes with a chapter on how to beat the crowds, skip the lines and avoid tourists traps, which we absolutely recommend reading upon. Although the book is written with an American audience in mind, it doesn’t matter where you are from, you will find this book both entertaining and useful.

Rick Steves’ Rome

“Fodor’s Rome 2024” is a beautifully crafted travel guide that serves as your all-encompassing companion to the eternal city of Rome. Designed to simplify the trip-planning process, this guidebook is packed with maps, meticulously curated recommendations, and vibrant color photographs to inspire your wanderlust. The local Fodor’s travel experts provide invaluable insights, offering an illustrated guide to the ultimate experiences, multiple itineraries to maximize your time, and honest recommendations on everything from sightseeing and dining to shopping and nightlife. Whether you’re drawn to the historic Roman Forum, the majestic Vatican, or the iconic Colosseum, this guide ensures you navigate the city with confidence, thanks to detailed maps including a free pull-out map. Special features delve into the artistic masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the architectural marvels of ancient Rome, and the vibrant life in Campo de’ Fiori, offering rich historical and cultural insights. With practical tips on when to go, how to get around, and how to beat the crowds, plus Italian language primers, “Fodor’s Rome 2024” stands out as an essential resource for anyone looking to explore Rome’s timeless beauty, historical depth, and modern vibrancy.

Who should buy this book and why:

  • 🏛️ History and art lovers: For those fascinated by Rome’s ancient sites, art, and architecture, this guide provides in-depth features and insights.
  • 🍝 Culinary enthusiasts: With local recommendations for the best dining experiences, food lovers can immerse themselves in Rome’s rich culinary scene.
  • 🚶‍♂️ Explorers and adventurers: Ideal for travelers who want to make the most of their time, offering detailed itineraries and tips for experiencing Rome beyond the typical tourist path.
Fodor's Rome

“History of Rome: A Captivating Guide to Roman History” offers a comprehensive and engaging journey through the entire span of Roman history, from its mythical origins with Romulus and Remus to its monumental impact on the modern world. This book provides an in-depth look at Rome’s evolution through various pivotal stages: its beginning as a kingdom, its development into a powerful republic, its expansion as a dominant empire, and its transformation during the Middle Ages, leading to its role in the Renaissance and its influence on contemporary society. Through a captivating narrative, this guide uncovers the intricacies of Roman politics, culture, architecture, and contributions to art, literature, and law, providing readers with a vivid picture of Rome’s legacy. By exploring the significant archaeological findings and historical events, this book not only enriches our understanding of Rome but also highlights its foundational role in shaping European civilization and the broader world. It’s an essential read for anyone fascinated by Rome’s enduring heritage and its influence on the world as we know it today.

Who should buy this book and why:

  • 🏛️ History enthusiasts: For those passionate about the rich and complex history of Rome and its lasting impact on the world.
  • 📚 Students and educators: An invaluable resource for anyone studying or teaching history, offering comprehensive insights into Roman civilization.
  • 🌍 Cultural explorers: Individuals interested in the cultural and architectural legacy of Rome, its art, laws, and societal structures, will find this guide thoroughly enlightening.
History of Rome

In all our overviews of travel guides, we include a travel book that is made for children. This Rome for Kids Travel Book is easy to use for children and will be really entertaining for kids making the life of parents much easier, even on longer trips. The book includes: 120 pages, 6×9, cream paper and a beautiful matte-finished cover. The book will help making the trip to Rome fun, easy and entertaining for you and the kids.

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