A venerable name in travel is partnering with the network that brought you music videos, "Pimp My Ride" and "Cribs" to produce a new series of trendy guidebooks for young travelers.
"MTV Italy" ($24) and "MTV Ireland" ($22) are the first books in the series from Frommer's, an imprint of New Jersey-based Wiley Publishing.
"MTV Europe" ($25) is due out in early December. Guides to Spain, France, England, American road trips and Mexico's beach resorts will be published in 2007.
The publisher says the books will lead readers "to some of the world's hottest party scenes and outdoor adventures" while also listing traditional museums and world-class attractions.
The MTV series is ideal for inexperienced travelers who need basic advice, especially those on a budget. They start out with "Best of" chapters that can help anyone come up with a good itinerary for a trip covering a lot of ground in a short time, combining authentic, offbeat experiences with local must-sees.
But the paperbacks are also filled with easy-to-digest tips on everything from arranging affordable cell phone service overseas, to making sure you have the right converters and adapters for your electronic gear, to explaining that it's hard to find a rental car in Europe with an automatic transmission (most are stick shift). Other advice includes calling your credit card company before you leave the U.S. so that your account isn't frozen because your charges from overseas look suspicious.
The "best of" recommendations in "MTV Italy" include "most awesome ancient ruins" like the Colosseum and Roman Forum, best seen, according to the guide, after dark when the floodlights come on. Best churches, according to "MTV Italy," are St. Peter's Basilica, the Duomo in Florence and St. Mark's Basilica.
The book also recommends the Riviera Romagnola towns of Rimini and Riccione on the Adriatic Coast as anything-goes destinations for serious partying, and Perugia and Bologna as "best college towns." For bars, the Drunken Ship in Rome and the Red Garter in Florence are described as places where "body shots and Power Hour drink specials" will remind you of spring break.
Less wild but also highly recommended bars include Vineria Reggio on Campo de' Fiori in Rome, Rock Castle in Perugia, Corto Maltese in Bologna and Bar Magenta in Milan. Best hostels in "MTV Italy" include Archi Rossi in Florence, The Beehive and Colors in Rome, and Hostel of the Sun in Naples.
Recommendations from "MTV Europe" include the continent's hottest nightclubs and bars, from London's celebrity-studded Boujis to Munich's retro Atomik Cafe to the Kulimnator in Antwerp, Belgium, where you can choose from 700 types of beer.
A chapter on Lisbon, Portugal, compares the city's Avenida da Liberdade, "with its marvelous mosaic walkways and rows of high-end shops," to the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Lisbon listings also include the Lisbon Lounge Hostel, described as "one of Europe's funkiest hostels" with an "irresistible lounge ... for hanging out"; Bom Apetite, a small, no-frills restaurant recommended for cheap eats; and Cafe A Brasileira do Chiado, where stopping in for tea or coffee is a local tradition.