If you’ve never been to Rome, you’re going to need a good guidebook that is going to help get you situated. I suggest that you read the entire guidebook, especially the sections devoted to first time travelers. Lonely Planet Rome has a great section on getting to Rome, what to do once you’re there, things that you should about opening times/hours, etc., the local currency and more. These sections often provide important information that you may need, especially if you get into trouble. I find the introductory chapter in the Lonely Planet Rome guidebook to be its best asset. It also has a great selection of hotels, restaurants, eateries as well as a large list of things to do.
Another excellent guidebook is the one published by National Geographic. This wonderful guidebook (and my favorite, by the way!) has excellent photographs and provides maps that show the reader where they are in the city as they are reading the book. Many if not all of the photos are in color and are recent photos too. Many guidebooks publish black and white photos of monuments and locations which make it hard to compare to the real thing. I recently read this guidebook and wish that I had known about it when I took my first trip to Rome. Another positive to this book is that it does not overwhelm the reader. Many guidebooks provide you with a litany of places to stay and eat as well as lists and lists of things to do. The National Geographic guidebook provides you with a modest amount of information without deluging you with so much information that your head spins. National Geographic publishes many other travel guides with one on Sicily, Venice, Naples, Tuscany and more.
There are dozens and dozens of guidebooks on traveling to Rome and Italy. If these two suggestions are not to your liking, just head over to your local bookstore, and you will find a plethora of titles to choose, or check the top of this page for six other guidebooks that we recommend (clicking on the images will take you to that guidebook’s respective page on Amazon.com).