From Antarctica to Zimbabwe, if you're going there, chances are Lonely Planet has been there first. With a pithy and matter-of-fact writing style, these guides are guaranteed to calm the nerves of first-time world travelers, while still listing off-the-beaten-path finds sure to thrill even the most jaded globetrotters. Lonely Planet has been perfecting its guidebooks for nearly 30 years and as a result, has the experience and know-how similar to an older sibling's "been there" advice. The original backpacker's bible, the LP series has recently widened its reach. While still giving insights for the low-budget traveler, the books now list a wide range of accommodations and itineraries for those with less time than money.
Explore the riches of Italy with Lonely Planet's essential guide. Featuring a special color feature on Italian art and architecture, this book also contains insider's advice on the best pasta and gelati; skiing and trekking information, notes on history, culture and current politics; as well as practical food and accommodation suggestions for every budget. Delightful sidebars add insight into the culture, with details on everything from gladiators to mushroom picking. --Kathryn True
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Lonely Planet guides are a must-pack" --Toronto Star, February 2006