Suggested Reading List
A Farewell to Arms
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Description: Set in snowy Switzerland and the rainy Italian Lake Country during World War I, this semi-autobiographical novel chronicles the romance between a British nurse and an American ambulance driver.
A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax
Author: Dorothy Gilman
Description: A secret agent like no other, feisty grandmother Mrs. Pollifax goes to Switzerland to track down a missing package of plutonium -- just enough to make a small atomic bomb. Fourth in the series.
A Tramp Abroad
Author: Mark Twain, David Eggers (Introduction), Kerry Driscoll (Introduction)
Description: Written 11 years after Innocents Abroad, this is Twain's second foray into European travel. Filled with his characteristic wit and humorous observations, it documents his journeys through Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. Now with an introduction by Dave Eggers.
Birds of Europe
Author: Lars Svensson
Description: Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second edition of this exquisite guide has been updated with revised text and maps.
Cadogan Guide Lombardy & the Italian Lakes
Author: Dana Facaros
Description: Cadogan brings travelers Lombardy and the Italian Lakes in all their glory, from the powerhouse of Milan to the idyllic beauty and tranquility of Lake Garda and the Renaissance cities of the Lombard Plain.
D.H. Lawrence and Italy
Author: D.H. Lawrence
Description: This omnibus Penguin Classics edition includes Lawrence's three travel tales, each very different in tone and all wonderful: Sea and Sardinia is a nostalgic look at traditional ways of life; Twilight in Italy, an evocation of Lawrence's memorable stay on Lake Garda; and Etruscan Places his musings on ancient sites, including the painted tombs of Tarquinia.
Eyewitness Guide Milan and the Lakes
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: A superb guide to Milan and the Italian lakes featuring color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the area's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.
Hotel du Lac
Author: Anita Brookner
Description: Funny, stylish and spellbinding, Brookner's novel tracks the story of a romance novelist seeking evasive peace and quiet at the luxurious Hotel du Lac in Switzerland.
Italian Lakes Map
Author: Litographia Artistica Cartographica
Description: A detailed map of the Italian lakes region, including Orta, Lugano, Como and Maggiore, at the excellent scale of 1:100,000, produced in Italy.
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.
Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps
Author: Fergus Fleming
Description: Fleming spins lively tales of man against nature in this entertaining history of the eccentrics, adventurers and publicity-hounds who sought to conquer the Alps, including Whymper and his first ascent of the Matterhorn (where four of the seven-man team perished).
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.
La Bella Lingua
Author: Dianne Hales
Description: Inebriated with the sounds of Italian, lovesick for its phrases and enamored of its earthy idioms, Hales, "a sensible woman of sturdy Polish stock," dives into the Italian of the piazza, literature, movies and streets in this charming memoir.
La Place de la Concorde Suisse
Author: John McPhee
Description: McPhee deploys his usual insight and wonderful prose on the phenomenon of the Switzerland army to present an irreverent portrait of Switzerland and the Swiss mindset.
Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook
Author: Lonely Planet
Description: A handy palm-size phrasebook for the traveler.
The Art of the Renaissance
Author: Peter Murray
Description: A classic, illustrated survey of the world of the Renaissance and its art. With chapters on Florence and its artists, the Netherlands, early illustrated books and many individual artists.
Author: Alessandro Manzoni
Description: By many accounts the first modern Italian novel, Manzoni's 1827 classic concerns star-crossed lovers in 17th-century Lombardy. Promoted during unification, Italy's best-known novel has been made into films and a musical.
The Gothic Enterprise, A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral
Author: Robert A. Scott
Description: An enthusiast, Scott delves into the history, design, architecture and wonder of Europe's medieval cathedrals and great Abbey churches.
The Italian Summer: Golf, Food, and Family at Lake Como
Author: Roland Merullo
Description: Merullo shares this congenial account of a summer with his family in Italy and Switzerland, offering delicious descriptions of wonderful meals, colorful characters -- and rounds of golf at some of the most beautiful courses in Europe. He is a golf fanatic.