No matter how busy I am, I’m always reading a book or two based in Italy. And there is always so much to read (not complaining!). There are books on Italy’s history, books on Italian Art, books on Italian travel etc! So I thought of compiling a list of “5 Books on Italy to Read this Spring” (not just for Spring but the title added a curiosity!) for books written in English and/or translated from Italian. Hope you add more to your reading pile!
5 Books on Italy to Read this Spring
1. Gomorrah by Roberto Saviano
If you are someone looking to read a book that exposes The Mafia, pick Gomorrah! Roberto Saviano has done an excellent job writing life like characters and gritty images of Italy’s dark side. Gomorrah is not an ordinary book because there are raw, vivid and horrific details. But if you’re looking a book based on the Mafia in Italy, you should be reading this.
There’s also a new style of prose in this book that I appreciated more as I read. That being said, I would prefer to read this book in Italian one day as I often felt a lot got lost in translation.
2. Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
Another fabulous book set in Italy is Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman. This sensual, passionate and melancholic book was on recommendation by Jasmine and I couldn’t be more pleased! The story is set in Northern Italy and revolves around the irresistible relationship of two men. (no spoiler zone) Call Me By Your Name is gorgeous and seductive and will make you long for the Italy of the 80s. Once you read the book, watch the movie, it is pure nostalgia on screen!! This book will make you sad and giddy at the same time. I truly think it will get in your skin!!
3. Waking Isabella by Melissa Muldoon
If you are interested in Italian art and traditions and also want a little Tuscany on the side, Waking Isabella is the book to pick! Italy Book Tours was most kind to send me a copy. This book is a story of the past and present and moves back and forth and Melissa Muldoon encapsulates it with the richness of the town of Arezzo.
Although the story is a tad predictable, I enjoyed it from the leading character’s point of view the most. Melissa is also a fellow Italophile and her blog is a great resource for anyone wanting to learn Italian. Years ago she interviewed me 🙂
4. The Land Where Lemons Grow by Helena Attlee
If you’re looking for a book on Italian culture The Land Where Lemon Grows by Helena Attlee is exceptional. This book shows how much Italy has to offer as a nation. It continues to surprise me daily! The Land Where Lemons Grow is the author’s deep research about the citrus fruit and hence the apt title. Although the citrus originated in The Himalayas, it’s connection to Italy is evident from the first page!
The author travels all around Italy searching this exotic fruit and the different varieties it has to offer. The Land Where Lemon Grows is rich in detail with recipes, maps and interviews in addition to it’s specialized subject. I would have prefered to read it under the shade of a lemon tree in Liguria. What do you think??
5. Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau
Ending the list with a Cheers! I saw this book on Instagram and later at a cafe where I browsed for hours. I think it was a sign to read it!! This gorgeously printed book has interesting stories and DIY recipes, which will instantly put you in a better mood!
Spritz is the a breezy yet informative coffee table (errr cocktail counter??) book about modern Italian living. I think all of us Italophilies can write their own version of this very famous Italian drink!!
6. Beneath the Lion’s Wings by Marie Ohanesian Nardin
Isn’t it wonderful when you get an extra book on your Italy list?? Check out Marie Ohanesian Nardin’s Venetian love story “Beneath the Lion’s Wings”. An enchanting story set in the floating city, the novel captures Venice in a surreal way. The story centers around a relatable woman character entwined with copious amount of food & wine. There are parts in the book where you might feel you’re walking in Venice and who would mind that really!
- Books that give an itch to visit South Italy
- 103 Other Adventures In and Around Rome – a must read for Italophiles
- Book Review: South of Somewhere by Robert Camuto
- Women in Translation- 3 Italian Authors You Must Read
- Midnight in the Piazza- an art mystery set in Rome
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Have you read any of these books? Comment below!