It’s no exaggeration: when Doug’s in Venice, Italian people ask *HIM* for directions. He’s got that kind of expertise. Here’s a great shot of him with a group of students in San Marco in 1992; he’s being guiding people through Italy longer than many readers have been alive.
It’s hard to put into words, but I’ll try–if you travel to Italy and don’t avail yourself of the opportunity to have Doug guide you, it’s a shame, as you’re missing out on something special. There’s no amount of browsing TripAdvisor.com and reading Frommers and blogs like this one that can serve as a substitute for his insights. Don’t miss out!