Best Travel Books on Sicily

2020 was hard for all of us in many ways. One of the most comforting activities that I found myself doing more was reading. I dove into a range of genres and explored new authors and writers. The ones that stood out for me most were travel books on Sicily. These travel books were not the usual guidebooks but unique sources offering a perspective and history of the island of Sicily. Since they are penned by fellow Italophiles they are dear to me! So while I plot a return to the island, here are some of the best travel books on Sicily that I highly recommend you to read.

Best Travel Books on Sicily

1. Sicily: Island of Beauty and Conflict by Jeremy Dummett

I’ve found many Italophiles thanks to the world of social media. Jeremey Dummett is one such Italophile and Sicily lover who I connected via Twitter (Thanks to Rochelle from Sicily Inside Out!).

Having extensively traveled in Sicily for over 15 years, Jeremy has written 3 books on Sicily, two dedicated fully on the cities of Syracuse and Palermo. He knows the history and culture of the island like the back of his hand.

I have been particularly impressed reading his book Sicily: Island of Beauty and Conflict, which has chapters on all of Sicily. It is a beautiful book offering insights into the mysterious island.

Divided into four parts, the book covers a vast majority of everything there is to know about Sicily- its complexity, food, architecture, ruins, beaches etc. With vivid photographs and descriptions, Sicily: Island of Beauty and Conflict is more than an introduction to the island; it is a background to Sicily that we all must know.

Whether you’re planning a trip to Sicily for the first time or you’re a seasoned traveler, you’ll love reading this book! My favorite parts were the Ancient Sites and the chapters on Eastern Sicily.

To know more about Jeremy Dummett’s books and blog check out his website!

2. Sicily: A Literary Guide for Travellers by Andrew and Suzanne Edwards

Sicily: A Literary Guide for Travellers is one of the most unique travel books I have ever come across! Written by fellow Italophiles Andrew and Suzanne Edwards, this book is a literary testament to Sicily. The authors, accomplished translators and lovers of Mediterranean culture, have covered Literature and Sicily extensively!

Sicily was the hot spot for many great literary figures who were totally enamored by the region. We are talking of Truman Capote, Lawrence Durrell, Andrea Camilleri, Jorge Luis Borges, Steinback, Cervantes, Shakespeare, D.H. Larence, Leonardo Sciascia and the list goes on….

Sicily: A Literary Guide for Travellers is seeing Sicily with fresh eyes. For instance, thanks to this excellent book I found out that the French writer Guy de Maupassant was head over heels for Sicily. He even penned his travels to the island in various newspapers!

Both the idea and research for this book are commendable and I already have a list of places to explore for countless future trips. Thanks to the duo for offering me a chance to visit Sicily with the ghosts of the past!

To know more about Andrew and Suzanne Edwards, check out their Facebook page.

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3. Sicily by John Julius Norwich

Another travel book on Sicily that I would recommend to read is John Norwich’s Sicily -a history on the Ancient Greeks to Cosa Nostra. A historian and travel writer, John Norwich was a passionate Italophile who wrote countless books on Sicily.

He penned a long documented story of the island of Sicily and the Mafia to majorly exhibit the how’s and why’s of why Sicily is what it is today. The rich cultural heritage of this island and it’s beauty and nature- volcanoes, earthquakes, sea etc have been talked about by Norwich. Furthermore, this 17 chapter book explains the domination of Spain and the Second World War mixed with several plagues and slavery.

If you want to know more about Sicily in an erudite style, John Norwich offers an appeal to visit the island that was once ruled by many- Normans, Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Arabs and Spaniards!

To know more about John Julius Norwich, check out this Guardian post on his life.

Photo Credits: Pixabay

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  • Stacy Pollard
    December 9, 2020 at 3:33 am

    If I ever make it to Sicily, I will consult you and your book recommendations first! xo

  • Sara - My Dear Italia
    December 4, 2020 at 1:20 am

    Super interesting post! Too bad my list of books to read is already huge 😭

    • Italophilia
      December 4, 2020 at 11:19 am

      🙂 always, but I hope you can get to some of these next year!!

  • KareninCalabria
    December 3, 2020 at 12:11 am

    Very nice, and I must say I particularly like the cover of Dummett’s book.

    • Italophilia
      December 3, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Its a very pretty cover. The book came to me at the right time (just like yours did!) and I think you’ll enjoy it.

  • Andreas Moser
    December 2, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    So much history on one island.
    That’s why Sicily never gets boring!

    • Italophilia
      December 2, 2020 at 7:55 pm

      Never and that’s why so captivating!

  • Manja Mexi
    December 2, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Most excellent, Ishita. I must believe that I will visit this island sooner or maybe later, but I will finally! Before I go, I’ll make sure to read all of these. Thank you!

    • Italophilia
      December 2, 2020 at 2:48 pm

      Thanks Manja! How wonderful it would be to read your tales from the island.


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