Suggested Reading List
Art of the Byzantine Era
Author: David Talbot Rice
Description: Wide-ranging and literate, this thoroughly illustrated introduction to Byzantine art is an indispensable classic.
Balkan Ghosts, A Journey through History
Author: Robert D. Kaplan
Description: Kaplan interweaves the history, art and culture of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece with his travels in this portrait of the region.
Bradt Guide Croatia
Author: Piers Letcher
Description: This convenient guide in the excellent British series is a personal, informative overview of the country, covering Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik in detail. With excellent travel advice and information on nature, history, and culture.
Croatia Coast Map
Author: Freytag & Berndt
Description: A nicely shaded map covering the Dalmatian Coast from Porec to Dubrovnik at a scale of 1:200,000, perfect for the complex coastline.
Death at La Fenice
Author: Donna Leon
Description: The first of the tremendously good Guido Brunetti mysteries, all set in the author's beloved Venice, in which a famous conductor is found dead at the celebrated theater of the title.
Eyewitness Guide Sicily
Author: DK Publishing, Eyewitness Guides
Description: This superb guide to Sicily features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a synopsis of the island's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.
Fodor's Rome's 25 Best
Description: This shirt-pocket guide includes a map of the city and essential information on its highlights.
Fodor's Venice's 25 Best
Description: This shirt-pocket guide includes an excellent map of the city center and essential information.
Herculaneum: Italy's Buried Treasure
Author: Joseph Jay Deiss
Description: An artful and wonderfully written description of daily life of the Romans at the time of the destruction of Herculaneum.
Author: Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
Description: Grizzuti Harrison writes with warmth and depth of her journey from Milan south to Calabria in this sprightly account of Italy and the Italians.
Author: Ocean Explorer Maps
Description: This handy color map of the Mediterranean from Spain to the Black Sea and the Levant puts ancient sites and historic ports into context. With notable people, a timeline and descriptions of dozens of places across the classical world, this map serves equally well for Mediterranean and Black Sea cruises.
Mediterranean by Cruise Ship
Author: Anne Vipond
Description: The best-selling, compact guide, featuring excellent local maps, hundreds of color photographs, concise background information and recommended excursions for ports-of-call throughout the Mediterranean.
Midnight in Sicily, On Art, Food, History, Travel and La Cosa Nostra
Author: Peter Robb
Description: Combining interviews, research and essays on Sicilian history and culture, this vivid report by journalist Peter Robb is a superb introduction to Italy's glorious, corrupt and troubled south.
On Persephone's Island
Author: Mary Taylor Simeti
Description: Strong on the delights of rural life, Simeti's portrait of Sicily takes the form of a yearlong journal, capturing the spirit of the people, daily life, traditions and the land.
The Ancient Mediterranean
Author: Michael Grant
Description: Grant explores the realms of archaeology, geography, art and economics to sketch this classic portrait of the ancient world, from prehistory through the Roman Imperium, and the influence on western civilization.
The Balkans, A Short History
Author: Mark Mazower
Description: A brief, provocative survey of the complex and often contentious history of the Balkans. With eloquence and insight, Mazower addresses the issues of geography, nationalism and modern nation-building in the region.
The Bridge on the Drina
Author: Ivo Andric, Lovette F. Edwards (Translator)
Description: These linked stories by the Nobel-prize winning author capture the history and complexity of Christian and Muslim relations during Ottoman occupation. Hewn of stone, the bridge dividing the town of Visegrad was Andric's inspiration.
The Fires of Vesuvius, Pompeii Lost and Found
Author: Mary Beard
Description: With the panache of a gifted classicist, Mary Beard (Wonders of the World) conjures daily life in celebrated Pompeii, not only demolishing with particular relish the many myths that have grown up around the place but also emphasizing the limits of our knowledge. Some things we simply shall never know for certain.
Author: Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
Description: Evoking a lost world of privilege and tradition, Giuseppe Di Lampedusa's memorable tale, set on a rural Sicilian estate during the days of independence, follows the world-weary Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina. A classic, now in a 50th anniversary edition.
The Venetian Empire, A Sea Voyage
Author: Jan Morris
Description: Morris reconstructs the whole of the glittering dominion of the Venetian Republic in this evocative account of a journey by sea along historic trade routes to the Adriatic and beyond.
The World of Venice
Author: Jan Morris
Description: Morris displays her talent for research, anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited history of a beloved city.