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Venice in Context

Archived Book/CD review

book cover

Venice in Context:
The Independent Traveler's Guide to Venice

by Robert Wayne
Independent International Travel, LLC
Paperback, 158 pages + 2 audio CDs
USA $29.95, Canada $44.95
ISBN 0-9720228-7-2
(Published in 2003)

Self-guided walking tours have been around since guidebooks were invented, and audio tours have long been a popular fixture in museums. Robert Wayne's Venice in Context: The Independent Traveler's Guide to Venice brings the guidebook and audio tour together in a single, well-integrated package.

Venice in Context has two components:

  • A 158-page guide to a dozen of Venice's major churches, monuments, and squares. Each self-guided tour includes a map, photos, well-written text, and (in some cases) a floor plan with accompanying captions. The book's 12 itineraries are designed to work with:

  • Two audio CDs that are tucked into the back of the guidebook. These CDs contain 12 narrated tours that complement the printed maps, photos, and descriptions. The tours, which are narrated by announcer Joel Godard of the Late Night with Conan O'Brien TV show, are packed with detail--right down to instructions on how to reach the tour's starting point from the nearest vaporetto stop.

As a bonus, the guidebook includes chapters on planning your trip, gondolas, public transportation, admission fees and opening times, historical timelines, and a glossary of the Italian terms used in the book.

Venice in Context is a worthwhile companion if you enjoy audio tours, are traveling with a portable CD player, and would rather listen to a narrator than switch your gaze back and forth between a guidebook and the object of your sightseeing.

If you can't find Venice Context at your local bookstore, try an online bookseller like Magers & Quinn or Amazon.