Amanda Ruggeri is an American expat and long-time resident of Rome. She knows this city like the back of her hand and consistently shares her insight via her well-written blog www.revealedrome.com. Now Amanda has also just released a book called The Revealed Rome Handbook: Tips and Tricks for Exploring the Eternal City. It both complements and extends her online treasure trove.
Reading the book, you will notice that Amanda’s love for this incomparable place is accessible and welcoming. In fact, she is herself also accessible and welcoming. Amanda invites her readers above and beyond the handbook, suggesting that you contact her directly with questions and for any further advice. She also offers a personalised trip-planning service via Skype.
Amanda’s multi-layered approach to sharing information strikes me as very appropriate for this most ancient and complex of cities. Rome can be as awe-inspiring, sexy and delicious as it can also be confusing, overwhelming and frustrating (at times). So, whether you are coming for a long stay or a short visit, I support Amanda’s suggestion that you consider her book a “shortcut to experiencing Rome like a local.”
Over six chapters, she covers just about every topic likely to pique a visitor’s curiosity in thoughtful detail. In fact, the only real exclusion I can see is one that everyone hopes most visitors never need to experience anyway. That is, the ridiculously convoluted journey out to the immigration centre in Rebibbia to process a working holiday visa. However, should you by chance need to also experience this, I suspect that Amanda is actually well-placed to also provide you with some good-humoured and common sense guidance on this topic as well.
Each of the book’s chapters is focused on a different aspect of a trip to the Eternal City (e.g. planning, eating, sightseeing, etiquette, shopping, safety and bathrooms!). The ultimate beauty is the fact that it is a personal handbook rather than a generic guidebook and I guarantee that you will appreciate Amanda’s humorous and intimate touch. Here is someone who genuinely wants you to love the Eternal City as much as she does and who also has the know-how to make that happen.