Dubbed a local guide by local people, this handy little paperback is essential reading for those who have already sampled the main attractions of Rome or those who want to steer clear of the well-worn tourist routes. From discovering the scandals of the Catholic Church to exploring Mussolini's bunkers at Villa Torlonia, this guide will certainly open your eyes to the possibilities this city has to offer.
Not just filled with 'hidden treasures' that only a few have heard about, including trapdoors in Vallicelliana Library and dining in the Patrizi Palace, this book also takes an interesting look at the better known Vatican, Colloseum and Forum, and gives snippets of little-known information throughout. You could, for example, pay a visit to the Church of San Giovanni, home to the holy relic of Christ's umbilical cord. Perhaps not to everyone's taste but interesting nonetheless!
For each part of the city, you get a quick paragraph or two on the place itself (just enough for you to make up your mind as to whether it's worth a visit), as well as concise history sections, to give you that added appreciation for your chosen destination. The guide also provides good tips on the best transport to use and some nice little touches, such as a 'sights nearby' section and comprehensive opening times for all attractions, making it that bit easier to plan your days and fit everything into a packed schedule.
It's small and lightweight, perfect to slip into the ever present rucksack or back pocket, to be whipped out at a moment's notice when quizzed on the obscure objects in Saint Peters Basilica or deciding on the best café to head to for a refreshing frappuccino.
Average price: £10.99