Setting the standard as ever for historical and cultural coverage, this formidable guide offers deeply detailed insight into sights across the region, with colour photographs and the odd hotel and restaurant recommendation.
'50 Adventures on Foot' presented as a deck of sturdy cards so you needn't carry any more than necessary. Each card offers a proposed route with a map and information. Beautifully presented and great fun.
Exhaustive budget travel guide, upbeat and informal in tone, covering the basics with paying particular attention to foodie day-trips. LP's regional guides are easy to use, but lean more towards tourism than travelling.
Tireless authors Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls have produced another first-rate general guide which balances mid-budget practical information with thoughtful background reading on local history and culture. Florence is well-covered but by no means dominates, with excellent chapters on Sienna, the Valdarno and the Tuscan Coast among others.
Once the only guides worth carrying, Baedeker have recently returned to the fray in rebranded form. Their layout may seem unusual to newcomers but the quality of information and insight is exceptional, and the wealth of colour photographs makes this one a pleasure to use. The large pull-out map is also first rate.
This excellent general guide - a good portion of which is devoted to Florence - picks out the sightseeing and culinary highlights for those travelling in relative comfort. After well-composed introductory chapters it is arranged alphabetically by region.
A colourful, neatly arranged general guide that introduces the region as a whole before covering in reasonable detail the best sights and sites. May best suit travellers whose accommodation has been booked in advance and who are looking to explore beyond it.
A marvellous companion to a walking holiday, written with great knowledge and passion in the graceful style familiar to readers of Lasdun's excellent fiction. Recently fully revised and updated, each walk is well mapped and explained - and the authors emphasise the term 'walk' rather than 'trek' or 'hike'. Visitors to Umbria should note that less than a quarter of these pages are devoted to that region.
A handy, easy-to use guide if you are going on a short break or know the city relatively well, but as it is not particularly comprehensive, we wouldn't recommend this for a first-time visitor to Florence.
Comprehensive general guide for budget-conscious independent travel, balancing reliable practical detail with good contextual reading. Chapters on Pisa, Chainti, Siena and so on are just as good as those on Florence.
Known for their informal American tone, Frommer's guides are often seen as an acquired taste. Yet they are virtually encyclopaedic in content and often great fun to use. This volume approaches Florence as the base of any trip but nonetheless covers the rest of the region in impressive detail.
Colourful general guide more concerned with comfort than budget travel, this dense compendium of practical information is laced with thoughtful appraisals of sights, restaurants, hotels and so on. Despite its position in the title, Florence gets scarecly more coverage than other local cities such as Siena.
A monumental cultural companion that covers all of Tuscany, Umbria and The Marche, as well as Rome and the wider Lazio region. Would best suit visitors with a keen interest in art and architecture who plan to cover a good deal of ground.
Blue Guides are unrivalled when it comes to art, architecture and culture. This well-researched and thoughtfully-written companion will enhance significantly your enjoyment of the region, illuminating as it does its many treasures.
This is one of Lonely Planet's new regional guides, which feature a lot of red ink, a lot of maps and a lot of day-trip itineraries. Only 40 pages are dedicated to the Amalfi coast, and although there is the usual emphasis on smaller budgets this is more of a tourist guide than a travel guide.