Select Reading List for Italy
by Frances Mayes
In this memoir of her buying, renovating, and living in an abandoned villa in Tuscany, Frances Mayes reveals the sensual pleasure she found living in rural Italy, and the generous spirit she brought with her. She revels in the sunlight and the color, the long view of her valley, the warm homey architecture, the languor of the slow paced days, the vigor of working her garden, and the intimacy of her dealings with the locals...
by Malcolm Bradbury (Introduction), Edward Morgan Forster
Classic set in Florence.
by Kinta Beevor
Set in a fortress in the Carrara Mountains and in a villa in Fiesole, this autobiographical narrative is a beautifully written and a fascinating glimpse into Tuscan life spanning most of the 20th century.
by Lisa St. Aubin De Teran
Narration of the restoration of a crumbling villa by a creative family.
William Weaver, Washington Post Book World "Authentic. . . . Her next book should prove worth waiting for."
by Italo Calvino, Archibald Colquhoun
Enjoyable book by one of Italy's foremost writers.
by Shirley Hazzard
The story of an English woman working in Naples.
by Frances Mayes
A new book by a favorite author who writes about Tuscany.
by Giovanni Boccaccio
Medieval classic. Young nobles tell tales during a plague.
by Tim Parks
Further adventures of author of Verona.
by Tim Parks
An enjoyable and witty account of life in contemporary Italy.
by Lisa St. Aubin de Teran
The author’s firsthand account of how her eccentric family made their home in a deteriorating villa in a small town in Umbria.
by Geoffrey Luck
An Australian’s visit to Umbria
by Nan McElroy
This is a great book to take with you! This palm-sized book covers the how-to's of traveling in Italy: how to read road signs, how to use Italian phones, what to pack, etc.
by DK Publishing
by Frederick Hartt, David G. Wilkins (Editor)
"Don't let the size (huge) and scholarly look fool you. This is the best book on the subject, densely illustrated, and best of all, it is a pleasure to read and refreshingly jargon-free." Robert Eckhardt
by Jane Hall
Source for understanding the symbolism of Renaissance Italian art.
by Irving Stone
Fictional depiction of Michelangelo. Includes bibliography, glossary and a list of the artist's works.
by Meryle Secrest
Biography of the American art critic and collector.
General Information and History
I, Claudius : From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius, Born 10 B.C., Murdered and Deified A.D. 54 (Vintage International)
by Robert Graves
A historical novel of ancient Rome, also made into a PBS series.
by Paul Hofmann
Brief, interesting and helpful descriptions of 100 Italian cities.
by Gary Nabhan
An American naturalist who hiked from Florence to Assisi talks about nature in Italy.
by James Ladsun
Wonderfully specific suggestions for hikes and country walks with beautiful picnics and luscious restaurant meals.
by Barry Unsworth
A dark comic novel of deceit set among the lanes of Umbria where an assortment of oddball characters all consult the same devious lawyer.
by John Mortimer
This amusing mystery centers around a villa rental with an overly curious tenant, an ominously mysterious absentee landlord and a trip along the Piero della Francesca trail.
by Suzy Gershman
The ultimate guide for travelers who love to shop.
by Pamela Keech, Margaret A. Brucia
by Marina Seveso, Oonagh Stransky (Translator)
by Laura Morelli
Shopper's guide to Italy's best artisanal traditions
by Julia della Croce
Explore the fresh earthy flavors of Umbria--and the very soul of this region.
by P.L. Byrne
If you are traveling to Italy with children, they will love seeing the country from the perspective of the unusual, weird or exciting. Kids will discover Italy, popular Italian culture, and even some art and history, plus hundreds of free or inexpensive activities for family travel in Italy.
by Tomie de Paola
Strega Nona — "Grandma Witch" — is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical everfull pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony.
by Miroslav Sasek
These are short, 32-page, children’s books which provide a neat introduction to some of the most important artists of the Renaissance.