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Michelin Red Guide France, 1898 1998 : Hotels-Restaurants (2nd Ed)
Book Description :
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Tourists who take Michelin Red Guide France with them on their travels won't have great reading--but they can expect fine accommodations and terrific food. This bare-bones book is intended primarily for motorists--hence the detailed city and highway maps scattered throughout its pages. At the front is a key to the various symbols used in its listings--there are a lot of them, and no doubt you'll be referring back to this key frequently to discover just what a hotel with 3 crossed forks and knives next to a red bird, a telephone receiver and a man at a podium means (nice restaurant in a secluded setting with modem connections in the bedrooms and a conference hall, if you're wondering). There's not text to speak of, just thousands of listings that are updated every year. Michelin has long been one of the world's most trusted guides to the food, lodgings highways of France. Take a guidebook along for information about what to see, but trust Michelin Red Guide France to help you find the best places to stay and eat in every price range.

Michelin Green Guide : France (3rd Ed)

Michelin Green Guide : Provence (3rd Ed)
Book Description
A tourist guide in English for the Provence region of France.
Praised in such wonderfully readable books as Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence, this lovely region of France offers much to the traveler. Michelin's Green Guide to the area can help them make the most of their visit there.

Michelin Red Guide Italia, 1998 : Hotels-Restaurants (Serial)
Book Description :
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You won't find travel advice, puns, or personality in the Michelin Red Guide Italia, but when it comes to locating places to eat and sleep, the exhaustive listings of restaurants and hotels will prove invaluable. Aimed at motorists, the Red Guide includes detailed yet clutter-free maps that correspond to the information on restaurants and lodging. The table of contents appears in four languages--Italian, French, German, and English--and the text is all in Italian, but don't be put off if you don't read the language: everything you need to know is revealed in symbols that can be decoded at a glance. (A red figure in a rocking chair tells you that the accommodations are quiet and secluded, and four sets of crossed spoons and forks assure you that the dining is "top class.") Small enough to fit in a purse or backpack and complete with a bookmark-sized key (in all four languages) to the most important symbols, the reliable Michelin Red Guide Italia is the one to have when you're on the road in the land of passion and pasta.

Italy : Green Guide (5th Ed)by Michelin

Europe 101 : History and Art for the Traveler (5th Ed) by Rick Steves, Gene Openshaw
Book Description :
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This neat little book gives you enough practical knowledge of European art history to make your trip to the great museums and churches a lot more enjoyable. It connects yesterday's Europe with today's sights -- art, museums, buildings, and people. An essential tool for any traveler's backpack or suitcase.

The Boston Globe :
...humorous and historical perspective covering a mere 5,000 years of Western civilization.

Called by Arthur Frommer, the "rising star in travel guide publishing, " Rick Steves knows how to write guidebooks that make European culture accessible to everyone. This highly readable overview of European history and culture carefully ties each style of art to its historical era and relates it to the reader's trip. 250 photos. 30 illustrations. 15 maps.

Customer Comments
Michael Barton ( from Geneva, Switzerland , 04/06/98, rating=10: Finally - everything makes sense! A simple and enjoyable book that fills in the cracks from various history and art appreciation classes. Within a couple of hours, readers can have a good, basic grasp of the most important "who" and "whats" of European history - but particularly the "whys". I repeatedly found myself saying, "Oh, now I get it! So that's what the Renaissance (or the "Dark Ages" or whatever) is and why the art and architecture they created looks as it does." Truly a must read for both first-timers and seasoned travellers who just want to brush up on some of the facts and trends. Absolutely required for anyone travelling to Italy.

Rick Steves' Best of Europe 1998 (Serial) by Rick Steves
Book Description :
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For many independent travelers, Rick Steves is the god of good travel. With his sharp wit, instinct for the most memorable of "travel moments," up-to-date research and advantageous frugality streak, Steves's has widely popularized what he calls a "back door" approach to travel. "It's my job to sift through mountains of time-sapping alternatives and present you with only the best. You'll experience the culture like a local, have a great time, and spend less money," he promises in this edition, Rick Steves's Best of Europe 1998. This guide provides Steves' best sights and activities in Europe, places to eat and sleep that are "heavy on character and light on the budget," day-trip itineraries combining must-see sights with lesser known finds, understandable transportation instructions and very user-friendly maps. According to Steves's "Back Door Travel Philosophy," "experiencing the real Europe requires catching it by surprise, going casual ... a tight budget forces you to travel close to the ground, meeting and communicating with the people, not relying on service with a purchased smile." He offers personally tested itineraries for "Europe's best 70 days" and "best three weeks," provides an overview of logistical necessities, then dives into his 29 "bests" for an unforgettable European journey.

Experienced travel writer Rick Steves points to the creme de la creme of European travel, covering the Continent's highlights and surprises. Every restaurant and lodging listed has been recently inspected by the author or his staff, and Steves has selected the best three or four activities, castles, resorts, and sights in each area. 100 maps

Customer Comments: from Milwaukee, WI, USA , 01/08/98, rating=10:

Just like American Express... Don't leave home without it! I traveled through Europe last summer with the '97 edition of this book, and found it to be the best travel guide out there - and several jealous travelers, who either forgot, lost, or never knew about the book until they arrived in Europe, envied mine, echoing my sentiments. Rick has a great philosophy towards travel: see the world through the "back door." He thinks a traveler can have a much richer travel experience if he meets and interacts with the locals, living as they do (or living with them, in quaint pensiones and B&Bs,) eating where they eat (or better yet, eating with the locals they meet along the way) and seeing the world with an open mind. I agree. This book lists some of these great (and budget-friendly) sleeping and eating establishments. Better yet are Rick's 'what to see' recommendations. Like all the guidebooks out there, he gives a description of the top tourist sights. But what sets this book apart is two things not found in other travel books: Rick gives his opinions on each sight, and recommends many other lesser-known sights. Rick isn't afraid to tell you if seeing or doing something is a waste of time; on the flip side, there are sights that he says you'd be crazy NOT to see. If my time was short in a city, I'd be sure to see Rick's "must-see" sights and skip the rest - I never felt as though I missed anything, and had a wonderful experience. Secondly, Rick recommends lesser known, out-of-the-way (and not so out-of-the-way) places. It was in these places that I often got the best "feel" for what a country was truly like, as these were the places that locals frequented. I remember lying on a beach in Cinque Terre, Italy (one of Rick's favorite "back door" towns) talking with my travel companion. A Milanese man on the next beach towel over asked us how we found out about his favorite vacation spot - he'd never heard anyone speaking english there before! (Although we found the town to be full of Rick Steves followers!) We had a wonderful time there, met many locals, and truly experienced Italy. This is a fantastic guide book - friendly budget hotels, yummy places to eat, descriptions of Europe's "must-see" sights, places you'd be better off not seeing, and back-door towns where you can really meet the locals and learn about each country's culture and individuality. Don't leave home without it!

Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door 1998 (16th Ed) by Rick Steves, Gene Openshaw
Book Description :
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Rick Steves has a singular travel philosophy: travel light, travel economically, and when in Europe, do as the Europeans do. In Europe Through the Back Door, Steves offers travel tips and practical information drawn from more than 20 years spent on the road, both as traveler and tour guide. Though Steves has produced a series of guidebooks that specifically target individual countries, Europe Through the Back Door serves as a guide to the world of travel in general. Within its pages you'll find a wealth of information about the nuts and bolts of travel: guided tour versus independent travel, car versus train, how and where to get rail passes, what to pack, how to plan, etc. There are tips for choosing a hotel, eating well on a budget, getting the most out of museum visits, and--best of all--making friends wherever you go. But just in case you're one of those guidebook junkies who just isn't satisfied unless there's an itinerary to follow, Steves includes a section at the back that highlights the best "back doors" in Europe and beyond. From Italy's Cinque Terre to the best medieval castles--plus information on Turkey, Morocco, and Egypt--Rick Steves's Europe Through the Back Door provides the inspiration and practical how-to information necessary to make your European adventure a dream come true.

Rick Steves' popular European travel guide corresponds to his own travel philosophy: to really see a country, one must "become a local", go "through the back door" rather than the front, and avoid tourist attractions. Drawing on 25 years of European travel experience, Steves gives practical tips on planning an itinerary, packing light, eating well on a budget, and more. Includes a 30-page analysis of rail options. 150 illustrations. 15-city author tour.

The publisher, John Muir Publications , 03/05/98:
The Travel Skills Handbook for Independent Travelers:
Lots of travel writers tell you only where to travel-and they often do it in a boring, stodgy way. Not Rick Steves. Rick tells you how to travel, and he's witty and fun. Rick's a firm believer in traveling the "back door" way-a way of traveling that encourages you to find out-of-the-way places, to connect with the locals, and to make the most of your time and money. Rick has been traveling in Europe for more than 20 years, and he's learned a lot-which he passes on to you.

Customer Comments from Cleveland, Tn , 03/21/98, rating=10:
YOU Really can travel in Europe for less... Rick Steves is the best when it comes to traveling in Europe, having fun, learning lots, and "making memories..." This new edition from the "Europe Through the Back Door" series is by far, the BEST of the BEST...Better than "Let's Go," and more fit for the personal budgeted traveler. From the tiptop of Norway to the boot of the Mediterranean, Rick gives workable, practical, and useable advice on how to "do it all" without Spending it all. Take this guide with you, everytime, and then pass it on! You will be glad that you did, and so will your friends!.

Culture Shock: France by Sally Adamson Taylor
Customer Comments:
backdoor.jpg - 2942 Bytes from Chicago, IL, USA , November 5, 1998
Lots of Information on Diverse Subjects
This book is very well-written - sections on home life, fashion and nudity, and conversation are particularly informative. As a person who enjoys conversation, it was nice to read that the French really enjoy conversation and regard it as drama. But two aspects should have been more discussed less forgivingly: French rudeness (she advises to play the rudeness game; although in my 3 visits I have only once been treated rudely, I don't consider rudenes to be a game) and the fact that the French are really judgemental about how a person dresses (as she says - no one would dream of wearing shorts in Paris). However, Kudos to the French for not getting as paranoid about sexual harassment as here in Amerca!
A reader from San Diego, CA , September 28, 1997
Rudeness by any other name.
On my previous trips to France, I, too, had encountered the legendary French rudeness. However, I inevitably assumed it was my fault for trangressing some unwritten cultural norm of which I, despite my best efforts, was boorishly unaware. Sally Adamson Taylor has finally put my mind at ease. The French, it seems, ARE rude to everyone simply as a matter of course. This is useful information and fine as far as it goes. However, Ms. Adamson attempts to justify some of the most obnoxious behavior on the planet by claiming it is some sort of celebration of individuality. The book even seems to put forward the bizzare proposition that the worse the French treat you, the more they like and respect you. Somewhere in Paris there is a waiter (who, among other things, served me soup in which he had immersed his thumb up to the second joint) who will, no doubt, be naming me as Godfather to his children. Ms. Adamson's efforts to glorify French rudeness as a noble expression of individuality severely damages what would otherwise be an extremely useful book. Inevitably, one is left to speculate on what other little cultural pecadillos might have been revealed by a more objective, and less gallophillic, observer. Maybe French rudeness is a by-product of a profound and complex culture and maybe our American tendency to smile and be civil to strangers is shallow and insipid. On the whole, however, I'd rather be in Philadelphia.

A reader , January 3, 1997
An excellent guide to living and enjoying life while in France. Culture shock series gives an excellent description of culture/business/life in France. It is must for anybody staying in France and wants to enjoy rich lifestyle of France without getting Culture Shock.

Rick Steves' France, Belgium & the Netherlands 1998 (Serial) by Rick Steves, Steve Smith
Book Description :
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"Paris offers sweeping boulevards, sleepy parks, world-class art galleries, chatty crêpe stands, Napoleon's body, sleek shopping malls, the Eiffel Tower, and people-watching from outdoor cafés. Climb the Notre-Dame and the Eiffel Tower, cruise the Seine and the Champs-Élysées, and master the Louvre and Orsay museums.... With the proper approach and a good orientation, you'll fall head over heels for Europe's capital city." And who wouldn't, after being primed for the experience by that description? Being prepared is an entirely different matter, but with the help of Rick Steves and self-described Francophile Steve Smith, you shouldn't have any trouble.
Like all of Rick Steves's travel guides, France, Belgium & the Netherlands 1998 wastes no words on excess information; rather the authors direct you to only the most worthwhile sights. It's all a matter of opinion, of course, but their combined years of travel experience and addiction to all things French have prepared them well for the seemingly insurmountable task of whittling down "the best" of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands to 314 pages. The two encourage you to use your travel time--and your money--wisely; see what's representative of the areas you plan to visit; and allow room for catching the countries "by surprise, going casual 'Through the Back Door.'" One suggestion is to take a "Whirlwind (Kamikaze) Three-Week Tour of France by Car." The excursion begins and ends in Paris, but loops around to Normandy, Carcassonne, Nice, and Colmar, with stops along the way for visiting museums, lingering over picnics, and hiking in the Alps. Each section gives a brief introduction to an area (Normandy, Brussels, Amsterdam, etc.) and offers advice on how to plan your time, then covers transportation, sightseeing, accommodations, and eating. The sights are rated according to Steves's evaluation: three triangles means don't miss it (Musée National Marc Chagall in Nice), two triangles mark the sights that you should try hard to see (the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam), a single triangle denotes sites that are "worthwhile if you can make it" (Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges), and no rating means the attraction is worth knowing about (Loop Trip for Wine Lovers in Provence). Perhaps the best feature of the book, aside from the somewhat clever writing ("While Paris can drive you in Seine...") is the quick-reference appendix. It includes a section on "French History in an Escargot Shell," useful phone numbers and country codes, a map of the French rail system, survival phrases, and the ever-useful lyrics of the French national anthem, "La Marseillaise." Rumor has it that the words are soon to change, so "sing it now ... before it's too late." --Heidi Robinson

This guide directs travelers to charming and affordable restaurants, lodgings, sights, shopping, and nightlife, from Amsterdam to Arles. Highlights include information on year-round wine tasting; Colmar, a small Alsatian town; and crossing the Alps from France to Italy. 40 maps

The publisher, John Muir Publications , 03/05/98:
Rick Steves' European Country Guides

With all the travel experience Rick Steves has, he's not just a travel writer, he's a bonafide travel guru. And his unique "back-door" philosophy will help you have a travel experience no other guidebook can provide. Lots of people write to Rick, thanking him for his great advice and praising him for writing like a real person. College students say his books are indispensible-and so do senior citizens. Rick's expertise and sense of humor come through in all his books, and his recommendations (on sights, restaurants, and lodging) are priceless. Not only will you spend less money, you'll meet more people, and have a great time in the process.

Customer Comments
A reader from New Hampshire , 03/14/98, rating=9:
Excellent Guide for the Novice Traveller
We used this guide last year on a trip through France, Belgium and the Netherlands and found it to be indispensable. Since this was our first trip to Europe, we were very nervous about making train and hotel reservations on our own. Rick's book made it a breeze. It was also very accurate on hotel and restaurant prices. Overall the book made our trip much more enjoyable and I have recommended it to a number of people.

All of the fabled attractions of Italy are covered in this comprehensive guide: the art and architecture of Rome, the history and religion of Vatican City, the canals of Venice, the Riviera, the hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria, the lakes and mountains of northern Italy, and Palermo in Sicily. 40 maps

Customer Comments
Jim Harris from Chicago , 05/26/98, rating=2:
for the ugly american wannabe
Rick Steves produces a very engaging travel video series broadcast on many public television stations. The quality of his television production is quite high which makes his books all that more puzzeling. As with his earlier printed series, there's really not much to the books. It's a wham bam with little cultural awareness. The approach seems to be: just head for a cheap meal and watch people hang out with an emphasis on the lowest price. While saving money is a worthwhile object, it's the not the be all and end all of travel. This attitude prevalent in the 1960s and 70s leaves a huge gap in the learning and cultural awareness of a gret country such as Italy. If Rick Steves were to pick up a copy of a guidebook to Seattle written written and produced like his, he would throw it away in a minute. Others in this category, are the Let's Go and Lonely Planet guides both empty and devoid except for brat packers. Get the Rough Guides for the best of Italy and other places.

On the Road Around the South of France : Touring by Car in Provence, the Cote D'Azur, Coastal Languedoc, the Rhone Valley, and the Auvergne (Thomas Cook by Nick Hanna, Melissa Shales (Editor)
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The Thomas Cook group has been leading tourists around Europe for more than a 100 years now, and the name has become synonymous with solid information--not to mention nifty travelers checks. Best known for their compendium of European railway schedules, The Thomas Cook European Timetable, the company also produces a series of touring handbooks. On the Road Around the South of France is specifically designed for travelers with cars. The first few sections of the book have the obligatory information about getting to France, how to use the telephones, hours for post offices and banks, etc., followed by a brief history of the country. Where Thomas Cook really differentiates itself from other guidebooks is in the itineraries attached to the different regions On the Road covers: Provence, the Cote d'Azur, coastal Languedoc, the Rhone Valley, and the Auvergne. There are 30 recommended routes between key cities, towns, and attractions in Southern France; each chapter begins with the description of a city or major town followed by chapters detailing routes that lead from that place to other major destinations. Routes are accompanied by detailed driving directions and a sketch map of the route and stops along the way, along with descriptions of restaurants, places to stay, and sights to see. As an added treat, the book is punctuated with beautiful, color photographs throughout.

Fodor's Exploring Provence (2nd Edition)

Fodor's 99 Provence & the Cote D'Azur : The Complete Guide to the Hilltop Villages, Roman Ruins and Resorts (Fodor's Gold Guides)

Provence and the Cote D'Azur : The Rough Guide (Rough Guide) by Kate Baillie

France : The Rough Guide (5th Ed)by Kate Baillie, Tim Salmon, Dave Abram, Kate Ballie
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There's nothing objective about the Rough Guide series. Whether its intrepid travelers/writers are guiding you through the jungles of Zimbabwe or the chateaux of the Loire Valley, they are always quick to call 'em as they see 'em--and do so in an irreverent, witty style that has become their trademark. In France: The Rough Guide, authors Kate Baillie and Tim Salmon explore France with a fine-toothed comb, uncovering all the best places to eat, drink, and sleep--in every price range. Descriptions of various attractions are lively and informative, and, as always, Rough Guide is sensitive to issues affecting women, gay and lesbian travelers, and people with disabilities, devoting sections to each topic at the front of the book. The Rough Guide series provides a happy mix of historical background, information about museums, monuments and festivals, and frank critiques of restaurants, beaches, theaters, and other forms of entertainment. If you're looking for a book that covers everything from politics to hiking in the Pyrenees, Rough Guide France is a good bet.

A Mediterranean Emporium : The Catalan Kingdom of Majorca by David Abulafia.
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The Catalan kingdom of Majorca was established under the will of King James I of Aragon, who conquered Majorca in 1229, but it was ruled from 1276 to 1343 by a cadet dynasty. The kingdom included the key business centers of Montpellier and Perpignan, and other lands in what is now southern France. It was home to important Jewish and Muslim communities, and was the focus of immigration from Catalonia, Provence and Italy. This book emphasizes the major transformations in the trade of the Balearic Islands from the eve of the Catalan conquest to the Black Death, and the effect of the kingdom's creation and demise on the economy of the region.

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