Letters from Readers
My brother and I both bought your wonderful Italy 2005 for our 17 day trip to Italy this fall. He's in Arlington, VA and I'm in Philadelphia, PA. We both did a lot of reading and planning and marking pages on our flight to Venice.
Much to our regret, he left his copy on the plane (in the pocket in front of him)....not to worry...I still had my copy. In Venice, on my trip to the bank....I left my copy on the bench. Horrors, I retraced my steps and there at the bank, they were waiting for my return. I'm happy again, following all your advice and suggestions. Off we go to Siena and San Gimignano...such beauty. In running for the bus to return to Florence, and much to my regret, I left my copy of the guide on a bench at the bus stop.
Well that's the end. Now we're without the precious guide. In one of the museums I noticed that a gentleman dropped your guidebook and I was about to pick it up when the owner returned to retrieve it. Lucky him. Continuing on our path I noticed that the same book was again on the floor and this time nobody came back to retrieve it.. So I picked it up and it was your "Best European City Walks & Museums 2005." Whoever owned it made lots of markings and yellow underlining. I was sorry for his loss and sent my brother in the men's room looking for the owner, but no luck. What to do but just keep it? So we continued our journey with the city walks guide and loved it.
When I returned to my home in Philadelphia, my first stop was a pile of mail and on the top was a package. Return address San Gimignano and low and behold, there was my copy of Rick Steve's Italy 2005 which I had left on a bench at the bus stop. A charming letter, written in English, was enclosed from the owner of a gallery in San Gimignano. She traced me by a bill from my dentist that I was using for a book marker. We are now pen pals and she promises to visit me. I was touched by her graciousness.
Your book is again in my possession and all is well.
P.S. I watched your Christmas program on Saturday, December 3 on our PBS WHYY. I loved every moment of it.
Your tour book for Italy was an excellent aid and fun to read! What an outstanding tool. We encountered a huge crowd waiting to get into the Vatican museum on Saturday, December 31 and really didn't want to wait for two hours in the rain. We had been accosted by the usual shills trying to sell us tour and "crowd bypass" tickets but were very leery. We then wound up speaking with Mr. Elio Epifani of Vox Tours and he explained the advantages of paying the "bypass" fee. We did pay 10 Euros per person, bypassed the line and paid the usual fee for the museum. I'm telling you this because I felt we were treated fairly and professionally. (Vox Tours, Via della Meloria, 93*00136 Roma) Furthermore, my son and I were able to leave our pocket knives at Vox Tours while we toured the Vatican. This leads me to the second reason for writing: it would have been very useful to know what locations have tight security and/or metal detectors as we would have left our knives in our hotel rooms. I have no idea how many people carry knives, cork screws or multi-tools (Leatherman tools) but those were not allowed in the Vatican. Perhaps you could add this information to future tour books?
Again, your book was invaluable and future tours of Europe will always include the appropriate book. Many thanks.