Sometimes it is worthwhile to to ignore the additional expense and hire a personal guide or take a guided tour. Many guides are so knowledgeable about a sight that they add significantly to the overall experience. They make you aware of details which no guidebook covers. Even an audio-guide can be an enriching option. There are of course negatives to guided tours, but give it a try occasionally.
Negatives besides the additional cost include the fact that this portion of your trip is “out of your hands,” that is, you are at the mercy of the tour company and cannot linger at places that you particularly enjoy or skip places that you find uninteresting..