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My Local Guide Rome

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 | 5 comments

Last night I attended the presentation (held at MIA Market) of a new guide book for Rome, written by locals. I normally don’t post about this sort of thing, but because I really think these books are great (and because I’m one of the “locals” who gives advice), I’m going to go ahead and tell you about it. I first discovered My Local Guide through a friend in Venice, as the first edition covered that city, which makes sense because the whole idea was conceived by the small publishing company called Light Box, which is based on the Giudecca. The concept is simple – to write guide to the city based on the advice of locals, giving you insight that you wouldn’t normally have unless you know someone in the city. Reading the Venice guidebook it was clear to me that this was different type of guide, as it didn’t have most of the normal places you see in guidebooks, but instead places that friends who lived there had told me about. As another plus, they really believe in sustainability, so all the books are printed on environmentally friendly paper. For instance, the Venice book was printed on AlgaCarta, which is made by blending paper fiber with algae collected from the Venetian lagoon. After reading the book I contacted the publishers to tell them how much I enjoyed it and was delighted to hear that they were going to soon be publishing a Rome version and wanted me to be a part of it.

The book is structured so that after a short history of the city (which includes both historical background but also satires on the different “types” of people found in the city) the different chapters on monuments, art, culture, restaurants, etc are all based on locations suggested by different locals. For instance, I participated in the “Arts and Culture” section and had to give 5 suggestions on great places to take in art and culture in the city. I can tell you now the advice is good since 4 of my 5 suggestions were actually already taken by another local and I had to give more! Some of the places in the book that also happen to be covered by my blog are Ai Tre Scalini, Villa Torlonia, Caffe’ Letterario, Etabli, Pastificio Cerere, and Circolo degli Artisti. There are also many more that I know and would wholeheartedly recommend, as well as new places that I will certainly check out. I would also be remiss to not mention that the photos are fantastic and were done by Neapolitan transplant Roberto Apa.

So, if you are coming to Rome and really want to know what it’s like, or if you live in Rome and want to see something new, I’d pick up this guide without hesitation. It’s available in Italian and English (a good translation I might add) at most major bookstores in Italy, as well at tourist information points and many museum bookshops. Editions are available for Venice, Florence, Milan, and Verona, with guides for Naples and Turin to come out in the Fall.

In Italy you can also order the book from the following websites:


  1. Ciao!
    Awesome blog and great post. I can’t wait to return myself. Your blog has made me “homesick” for Rome.

  2. Jessica, I’d like to thank you! I’m from Rome, living in Milan since 2005 (for LOVE 🙂 With your pic you let me feel so closed to my city, and sometimes I miss it so much…

  3. Is there a guide like this for Naples? I probably will be there again in a few months, and am SO interested in the underground city.

  4. Ciao Keith and Leila, thank you so much for your comments. I’m always happy to hear that my blog brings people back to Rome. Leila, you aren’t far, come and visit!

    Snapshutter – I believe a Naples guide is in the works but is not out yet. For Underground Naples, however, check out this:

  5. Thanks for the link Jessica.

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