I wrote this post about 10 favorite books on Italy and whether it was Four Seasons in Rome for the love of Rome or Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, each one was a unique pick. Today I’m adding a few more books based in Italy for your Italian wanderlust. Let’s make that list of pile never ending!!
Five Favorite Books on Italy
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster:
A Room with a View is a popular classic with a setup of two differently cultured countries – Italy and England.
The book is written in the early 20th century and explores the issues of caste, wealth, war and society.
It has a fun Edwardian backdrop and takes place mostly in the charming town of Florence. I don’t like the end as much but I still love it for everything related to Italy.
Venice by Jan Morris:
I love Jan Morris and her style of writing. In Venice, she goes very deeply in the history of the city and takes the reader to the different calle (streets) of the serene city.
Even though it is not nearly a travel book, it is a superb introduction to the floating city. It almost makes you feel as if you are traveling with the author in the piazze and campi.
Venice ends in delight and is a great book based in Italy.
The Stone Boudoir by Theresa Maggio:
Anyone who is fascinated with Sicily like I am, will enjoy this book. I was quite surprised by my lack of knowledge of small provinces and towns of Sicily.
The Stone Boudoir is a biographical account of the author’s travels to her ancestors’ village in Sicily.
Maggio takes you to her Sicilian family in the backdrop of the Mafia, Sicilian food and conservative men. This book will make you yearn to visit Sicily because her descriptions are on spot.
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes:
Don’t judge this book by the glossier version movie of the same name. Under the Tuscan Sun is an account of Mayes’ experience with life in Tuscany and I have a soft corner for it. Once you pick it up, you will find yourself longing to visit the Tuscan region lined with perfect cypress trees and long stretches of vineyards.
The descriptions of local life coupled with sumptuous plates of pasta make it a great read for books based in Italy.
It will remind you of summer and wine and Tuscany- all those things we travelers associate Italy with!
A Literary Tour of Italy by Tim Parks:
When I ordered this book, I assumed from the title that the author would take me all around Italy in places of literary importance. Quite the contrary in fact.
This book includs 23 essays written by Parks for the New York Review of Books. These essays are written on various Italian intellects from Collodi to Dante to Bassani to Tabucchi and Tim Parks gives his insights on them.
It turned out to be a unique approach to include his own essays and make it in a book. But I was expecting one on Italo Calvino! Nevertheless, bravo to Parks on all the research gone for the book.
Buy these Books: