A LOOK AT ROME, FLORENCE & VENICE - Frommer's EasyGuide to Rome, Florence and Venice 2017 - Stephen Keeling, Melanie Renzulli, Donald Strachan

Frommer's EasyGuide to Rome, Florence and Venice 2017 - Stephen Keeling, Melanie Renzulli, Donald Strachan (2016)


For the first-time visitor to Italy, there is a classic itinerary that forms the heart of this guidebook: Rome, Florence, Venice. It is these magical three places that overawe all others and that never fail to excite. The highlights are, of course, legendary: In Rome, the Roman Forum, best reached by first ascending the Capitoline steps designed by Michelangelo; the Vatican, the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona. In Florence, Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia Museum; the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace, the Medici Chapels and the Ghiberti Doors. In Venice, the Piazza San Marco, the Ducal Palace, the Rialto Bridge, and a ride by vaporetto or gondola along the canals. Italy can support a lifetime of travel, and many avid travelers make countless repeat trips there. But for the three major Italian cities covered in this book, we believe our Easy Guide approach will prove just the right thing!

From all of us at Frommer’s: Buon Viaggio!

- Arthur Frommer


The Pantheon (p. 107), once a pagan temple, and since the 7th century a Catholic church, is Rome’s best-preserved ancient building.



The interior of St. Peter's Basilica (p. 87) in Vatican City. One of the holiest sites in all Christendom, the church was built on the tomb of St. Peter.


The Roman Colosseum (p. 96), inaugurated in 80 A.D., was once the site of bloody gladiator contests and wild animal fights. It could also be flooded for mock naval battles.


The double spiral staircase at the Vatican Museums (p. 89), inspired by a 1505 design by Bramante, allows visitors to pass in both directions without encountering one another.


Now a jumble of ruins and fragments, the Roman Forum (p. 98) was once the center of commercial, political and religious life in the ancient Empire.


Neptune presides over the baroque Trevi Fountain (p. 114), where tossing in a coin is supposed to guarantee a return trip to Rome.


Artisanal gelato (p. 82) in a range of flavors. At least one cone (cono) or small cup (coppetta) per day is practically a requirement when visiting Rome, especially in the summer!


The "School of Athens" by Raphael Sanzio, adorns the Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms) of the Vatican Museums (p. 89), in what was once the library and office of Pope Julius II.


Once the site of public executions, Campo de' Fiori (p. 109) hosts a colorful produce and souvenir market by day and a lively restaurant and bar scene at night.


Al Ceppo (p. 76) restaurant is renowned for its grilled and roasted meats, but be sure to save room for dessert!


The ancient ruins of Pompeii, reachable via a day trip from Rome, reveal the preserved Roman city, including paster casts of Vesuvius's victims in their moments of death in August, 79 A.D. See p. 138.


St. Peter’s Basilica (p. 87) and the Vatican, viewed from the Tiber River. A climb to the top of the dome offers breathtaking views of Rome.



A local vibe pervades in the working-class neighborhoods of Oltrarno, San Niccolò & San Frediano, collectively known as Florence’s lively “Left Bank.” See p. 198.


Fresh produce, exotic spices, pizza vendors, and gourmet food stalls are all on hand at Florence's Mercato Centrale (p. 168).


Florence's Duomo (p. 179), with its elaborate 19th-century façade, is topped by Brunelleschi's marvelous 15th-century dome, and overlooks Piazza del Duomo.


Rustic Tuscan fare and ambiance, plus an extensive wine list are the hallmarks of Coquinarius Enoteca (p. 166), located 2 blocks from Piazza del Duomo.


The art collection of the Vasari Corridor (p. 189), an elevated walkway built for Duke Cosimo Medici I, is accessible via private tour.


A painting of Mary and an infant Jesus surrounded by saints, part of the Uffizi Gallery's (p. 181) world-renowned collection of Italian painting and sculpture.


The walk, cab or bus ride up to Piazzale Michelangelo (p. 200) affords splendid views of the Duomo and the rest of Florence.


Siena's Palazzo Pubblico and scallop shell-shaped Piazza del Campo have changed little since the mid-1300s, when the Black Plague decimated the city, located just over an hour from Florence. See p. 212.


Piazza della Cisterna (p. 219), built around a well dating to 1237, is a focal point of San Gimignano, a picturesque town near Siena known for its medieval defensive towers.



A fixture on the Venice skyline, Santa Maria della Salute (p. 273) was built in the 1630s to offer thanks for the city's deliverance from the Black Plague.


Venice's Castello neighborhood (p. 226) is one of the city's six water-bound sestiere, or districts.


Colorful houses line Burano (p. 279), an island in the Venetian Lagoon known for its lacemaking tradition.


A reveler in an elaborate Carnevale (p. 282) costume, Piazza San Marco. The pre-Lenten festival takes place over 10 days leading up to Fat Tuesday.


Handcrafted, hand painted paper-mache Carnevale masks are created in several traditional botteghe shops in Venice.


In business since 1871, Trattoria Da Fiore (p. 251) offers up-to-date renditions of classic Venetian dishes.


Overpriced, but not overrated, a gondola ride (p. 231) through the canals of Venice is every bit as romantic as it looks.


The Mercato Rialto (p. 259) is Venice's biggest open-air market, and its vast area of fish and seafood stalls harken back to the days when it was one of the Mediterranean’s great fish bazaars.


Reopened in 2003 after a devastating fire, Venice's Teatro La Fenice (p. 285) is one of Europe's great opera houses.


A ringside seat at a café on Piazza San Marco (p. 267) makes for memorable people-watching on Venice's busiest square.


Eastern influence on Venetian history is in evidence in these Byzantine mosaics on the façade of Basilica di San Marco (p. 261).


The Torre dei Lamberti clock tower overlooks Piazza delle Erbe, the market square and heart of Verona, an easy day trip from Venice. See p. 291.