I actually didn’t think I would like this book because on our trip to Cinque Terre we overheard some of the most annoying people quoting Rick Steves. I was actually thinking about sending him a very angry letter. Starting with “Why are you polluting Cinque Terre with huge numbers of American travelers, Italy is a big country – spread them out!” But when I saw this little book in the CinqueTerre Residence take one – leave one bookshelf I had to see why his advice was so revered.
After reading the book, I am afraid that I really like Rick Steves because he seems like a respectful traveler. He loves the places he goes and honors their culture. The hotel owner where I got the book was not so crazy about all of his reviews and felt many of the good restaurants in these five pearls were overlooked. Having read the book after we had left Cinque Terre was an unusual approach to a travel guide reading but actually reinforced my travel experience and confirmed what I saw and there was little I didn’t agree with.
He portrays the atmosphere of each village well and gives you a glimpse of their history. The advice for the walking paths seemed to make sense but make sure you check when you arrive what is open since trails fall into the sea at an alarming rate. I ended up really liking Rick Steves his love for Italy and its people seems genuine. Too bad I can’t say that about all the readers of his books!