Suggested Reading List
A Traveller's History of Croatia
Author: Benjamin Curtis
Description: Curtis untangles with alacrity the complex history of this nation at the crossroads of Europe.
Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History
Author: Ada Gabucci (Editor)
Description: This lively, illustrated survey of Ancient Rome's monuments, history and art is a terrific introduction.
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.
City of Fortune, How Venice Ruled the Seas
Author: Roger Crowley
Description: Crowley spins tales of three centuries of plunder and plague, imperial conquest and piracy in this riveting new history, chronicling the transformation of a tiny city of lagoon dwellers into the richest place on earth. City of Fortune is framed by two of the great collisions of world history: the ill-fated Fourth Crusade -- culminating in the sacking of Constantinople in 1204 -- and the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499-1503.
Croatia, Through Writers' Eyes
Author: Barnaby Rogerson (Editor)
Description: This collection of stories, tales and travel narratives illuminates the history and culture of Croatia. Including contributions by Rebecca West, Lawrence Durrell and Fitzroy MacLean.
Greece, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Artemis Leontis (Editor)
Description: In this terrific anthology 24 modern Greek writers offer a flavor of their nation, its culture and people, its beautiful landscapes and rich history.
How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed
Author: Slavenka Drakulic
Description: These short essays capture the absurdity, struggle and day-to-day reality of being a woman in Yugoslavia under Communism. Drakulic is a Croatian journalist, novelist and contributing editor at The Nation.
Italy in Mind
Author: Alice Powers
Description: A terrific collection of some of the best literary writing on Italy, including pieces by Melville, Lawrence, Henry James, Mary McCarthy and many others.
Italy, A Short History
Author: Harry Hearder
Description: Elegantly written, generous and informative, this compact book takes in the sweep of Italian history from the Roman Republic through the Renaissance, World War II and up to the present.
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
Author: Beppe Severgnini
Description: Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.
Mediterranean Cruises Map
Author: Freytag & Berndt
Description: A double-sided, full-color map of the Mediterranean, including the Iberian Peninsula and Black Sea, North Africa and the Levant, at a scale of 1:2,000,000.
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.
Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome
Author: Christopher Scarre
Description: A vivid overview of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and its expansion throughout North Africa and the Mediterranean, illustrated with ingenious color maps on many topics (political borders, trade, defense, religion) and 80 color photographs.
Pompeii, A Novel
Author: Robert Harris
Description: In this fast-paced historical novel set in Pompeii, a young engineer sets out to repair the Roman aqueducts and discovers the imminent eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Full of suspense and period detail.
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter
Author: Thomas Cahill
Description: Cahill brings to life ancient Greek society and civilization through the lives and words of politicians, playwrights, a poet, philosopher and artist in this eloquent and absorbing tribute.
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.
Author: Keith Hopkins, Mary Beard
Description: This engaging overview of the history of the Colosseum deconstructs Hollywood-perpetrated misconceptions of gladiator-eating lions, Nero fiddling and other myths.
The Colossus of Maroussi
Author: Henry Miller
Description: Miller captures the spirit and warmth of the resilient Greek people in this inspired tale of a wartime journey from Athens to Crete, Corfu and Delphi with his friend Lawrence Durrell.
The Greek Myths, Complete Edition
Author: Robert Graves
Description: A new edition of Graves' classic collection illustrated by the comic book artist Ross MacDonald. This expert retelling by Graves, a poet, memoirist and the author of I, Claudius (ITL429), still remains the seminal modern translation of the mythologies of Ancient Greece.
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 Middle Sea
Author: John Julius Norwich
Description: A marvelous writer who has already tackled Byzantium, the Normans in Sicily and Venice, Norwich spins his magic in this story of culture, trade and politics, royalty and rulers, wars and religion in the Mediterranean.
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.
Venice Is a Fish
Author: Tiziano Scarpa
Description: The hugely popular Venetian novelist, poet and playwright makes his English-language debut with these marvelously digressive essays on the many moods and pleasures of La Serenissima.