Suggested Reading List
Are We There Yet?
Author: David Levithan
Description: Levithan makes the most of an excellent setup in this novel which places two brothers, 16 and 23, in Italy on vacation with their parents. Told in alternating chapters, the novel shows the changing relationship between the two very different youths.
Cathedral, The Story of its Construction
Author: David MacAulay
Description: In this illuminating book for middle readers, master draughtsman MacAulay presents text and innovative drawings that detail the planning and construction of a 13th-century Gothic cathedral. It's a masterpiece.
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 La Fenice theater.
Eyewitness Guide Venice & the Veneto
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: Features color photography, dozens of excellent maps (including a pullout map) and a synopsis of the region's attractions.
Author: Donna Leon
Description: In this profile of the trademark Venetian gondola, Leon provides background on the gondola’s history, explains how the boats are constructed and even includes an accompanying CD of "baracoles," or Italian boat songs.
Author: Tim Parks
Description: This sparkling memoir by the British novelist captures the travails and delights of life in the Italian countryside. Montecchio, which Parks so indelibly sketches in this favorite book, is outside Verona.
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.
Learn Italian Together
Author: Living Language
Description: These multimedia boxed sets feature CDs, games, stickers and adorable illustrations to help kids and parents pick up a new language together.
Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook
Author: Lonely Planet
Description: A handy, palm-size guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Made in Italy, A Shopper's Guide
Author: Laura Morelli
Description: The second edition of Morelli's expert survey of handcrafted Italian shops and products from Murano glass to ceramics, jewelry and leather.
Description: Newbery Medal-winner Avi conjures the architecture, costumes and fears of medieval Italy in this action-packed tale of a princess tormented by what seems to be a ghost.
Northern Italy Map
Author: Touring Club Italiano
Description: This beautifully shaded road map of Northern Italy (1:400,000) shows the region including Trieste, Venice, Bologna Milan and Turin.
The Diary of Melanie Martin: Or How I Survived Matt the Brat, Michelangelo, and the Leaning Tower of Pizza
Author: Carol Weston
Description: Ten-year-old Melanie tells all about her family's summer trip to Italy, writing it all down in her dear diary. A hit on the middle-school market, it packs in a lot of cultural information while being very of-the-moment. Ages 8-10.
The Genius of Venice, Piazza San Marco and the Making of the Republic
Author: Dial Parrott
Description: With 112 color illustrations and four maps, the Genius of Venice presents the magnificent buildings of the celebrated piazza as, in the words of John Ruskin, the "living books of history" in this handsome cultural history.
The Italian Renaissance
Author: J. H. Plumb
Description: A well-written history of the Renaissance, its artists and thinkers, with chapters on Florence, Milan, Rome and Venice, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Women of the Renaissance.
Author: John Hooper
Description: Italy correspondent for The Economist Hooper explores Italy -- its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture -- in this illuminating portrait.
The Renaissance, A Short History
Author: Paul Johnson
Description: The history, background, literature, sculpture, paintings and architecture of the Renaissance in just over 200 lively, thought-provoking pages.
The Thief Lord
Author: Cornelia Funke
Description: The hidden canals and crumbling rooftops of Venice shelter runaways and children with incredible secrets in this captivating novel for ages 9 to 12.
The World of Venice
Author: Jan Morris
Description: Morris displays her talent for research, telling anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited portrait of a beloved city, its history and inhabitants. If you are going to read one book on Venice, we recommend this favorite.
Venice, A New History
Author: Thomas F. Madden
Description: With authority, Madden tackles the history of the celebrated city from Roman times onward.