I found this guidebook today in the travel section of my Borders. I’m surprised that I never noticed it before, and it looks promising.
The title of the book is: Rome in detail : a guide for the expert traveler. I don’t like books that try to be for a certain kind of people, so, in my opinion, from what I’ve read of the book, you can pretty much ignore that.
Page 7 features a “How to use this guide” which I think is always helpful when an author has a particular purpose in mind for the book. The How to is more of just a brief explanation on how the book is laid out. I think that the reason this isn’t for the first time traveler to the city is that it is not packed full of hotel/restaurant/tourism suggestions. It takes a particular area of the city and outlines some things that you should do, a few restaurants and a hotel recommendation here or there.
In my opinion, this book is excellent for the short essays about many of the sights of Rome, and it’s the only reason I purchased the book. The author(s) of the book have gone to great lengths to talk about sites in Rome that the average travel guide passes over, and I think that this is important. The restaurant suggestions are decent and have eaten at a few places that they have suggested. I would ignore the hotel recommendations unless you don’t mind spending a lot for a hotel.
The book also provides walking tours of various parts of Rome and provides an excellent layout of the city. Rome is not the organized city like New York, Washington DC or Paris, so having a guide that lays the city out in a manageable way makes it all the more useful. The walking tours are well laid out, and you would do well to take this book with you on your next (and even first!) trip to Rome.