Suggested Reading List
Author: Biba Caggiano
Description: Caggiano focuses on regional, seasonal food in this omnibus cookbook (featuring 100 recipes), menu planner and travel guide to Rome, Florence, Bologna, Milan and Venice. Nicely produced, this handsome sepia-toned book includes recommended restaurants, cafes and markets in each city.
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.
City, A Story of Roman Planning and Construction
Author: David MacAulay
Description: With innovative charts, drawings, text and a glossary, master draughtsman Macaulay tackles the planning and building of a typical Roman city, circa 25 BC, creating a fascinating portrait of Roman engineering for the whole family.
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: Ancient Rome
Author: Simon James, Nick Nichols (Photographer)
Description: A visually rich survey of ancient Rome, this book in the excellent Eyewitness series explores daily life and history in the city and the outlying empire.
Four Seasons in Rome
Author: Anthony Doerr
Description: Doerr captures the romance and challenge of living abroad in this lyrical memoir, invitingly subtitled "On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World."
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: Borch Maps
Description: A convenient laminated map of Italy at a scale of 1:800,000 with excellent topographic detail, an index and large maps of Sicily and Sardinia.
Italy, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Lawrence Venuti (Editor)
Description: Not just a literary companion, this anthology is also a who's who of contemporary Italian writers who capture the spirit, history and allure of the country.
Italy, Monuments Past and Present
Author: R.A. Staccioli
Description: This informative volume shows Italy's most important monuments as they look today and, via overlaid illustrations, as they were once upon a time. The book surveys the history and archeological highlights of Pompeii, Rome and Sicily.
Kids Italian Picture Dictionary
Author: Inc. Berlitz International
Description: 1,000 words central to a child's everyday life -- animals, flowers, people, colors, numbers and activities -- teach even the youngest readers Italian. Each word is illustrated and accompanied by a phonetic transcription and phrase.
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.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Author: Kathleen Krull
Description: Beginning with a vivid description of superstition and squalor in the Middle Ages, Krull sets Da Vinci's extraordinary life in the context of his extraordinary time. A volume in the Giants of Science series, geared for grades 4-8.
Author: Michael Dibdin
Description: Venetian crime investigator Aurelio Zen goes after the kidnappers of a Perugian industrialist in this enjoyable thriller, winner of the Gold Dagger Award (and first book in the series).
Renaissance Florence on 5 Florins a Day
Author: Charles Fitzroy
Description: This fun guide leads visitors of all ages (and budgets!) on a tour of 15th century Florence and the surrounding countryside, including cathedrals, museums, festivals and elaborate feasts.
Author: David MacAulay
Description: The incomparable MacAulay depicts Rome, ancient and modern, in this illustrated book told from the point of view of a wayward pigeon. For readers of all ages.
Author: Berndtson & Berndtson
Description: A handy map at a scale of 1:11,000, with a more detailed overview of the city center.
The Adventures of Pinocchio
Author: Carlo Collodi, Geoffrey Brock (Translator)
Description: A work that is at once adventure, satire, and a powerful enchantment, this adult translation captures Collodi's bold mix of the picaresque, of street theater, and of folk and fairy tale.
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.
The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
Author: R.W.B. Lewis
Description: A vivid tour of the city and its riches by the fine biographer of Edith Wharton and Henry James. Lewis has written what he calls "a partial biography of Florence," beautifully interweaving the personal and the historical.
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 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.
This Is Rome
Author: Miroslav Sasek
Description: Sasek navigates Rome's busy, winding streets to show us visit well-known landmarks and the eccentricities of modern Roman life. A reprint of the classic, first published in 1960.
Under the Tuscan Sun
Author: Frances Mayes
Description: In this best-selling memoir of buying, renovating and living in an abandoned villa in Tuscany, Mayes reveals the sensual pleasures found in rural Italy.
Venice: An Illustrated Miscellany
Author: Philippe Sollers
Description: An illustrated literary stroll through the cultural heritage of Italy’s most romantic city that leads from Shakespeare through Henry James, Simone de Beauvoir and Antonio Vivaldi.