Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org
, a website that supports local bookstores.
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
by Beppe Severgnini
Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. The book opens with a snapshot of Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.
Herculaneum: Italy's Buried Treasure
by Joseph Jay Deiss
An artful and wonderfully written description of the daily life of the Romans at the time of the destruction of Herculaneum.
by Luigi Barzini
The definitive portrait of the Italian people, this is a classic, scholarly essay on the Italian character. Though first published in 1964, it's still worth reading for its insight, grace and wit.
Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum
by Paul Roberts
Drawing on sharp, full-color photographs of more than 200 objects excavated from Pompeii and Herculaneum, Roberts, a curator at the British Museum, discusses what life was like in the ancient cities. He covers everything from birth certificates to the prevalence of bakeries and taverns.
Pompeii, The Day a City Died
by Robert Etienne
This indispensable pocket guide illustrates daily life in the city as revealed by its evocative frescoes, mosaics and treasures.
The Fires of Vesuvius, Pompeii Lost and Found
by Mary Beard
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.
Spartacus Road, A Journey Through Ancient Italy
by Peter Stothard
Stothard retraces the 2,000-mile journey of the rebel gladiator and his army from Rome to Pompei and Sorrento in this tale of travel, myth and slave revolt in the first century B.C.
Rediscovering the Ancient World on the Bay of Naples, 1710-1890
by Carol C. Mattusch
This extensively illustrated volume details various reactions to the early excavations of the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and their international influence in the 18th and 19th centuries.
by Roberto Saviano, Virginia Jewiss (Translator)
Savaiano's expose of the Naples mob documents in graphic detail the depredations and violence of the killers, criminals and thugs of the Camorra.
The House in Amalfi
by Elizabeth Adler
Master of suspense and romance, Adler deftly intertwines lush descriptions of place with fast-paced intrigue in her 16th novel.
The Ancient Shore
by Shirley Hazzard
Hazzard's lyrical collection of essays on the history, beauty, complexities and contradictions of Naples. Includes a celebrated New Yorker essay by husband Francis Steegmuller.
Eyewitness Guide Naples & Amalfi Coast
by Eyewitness Guides
Covering Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Amalfi coast, this superb guide focuses on culture, history and art.
Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook
by Lonely Planet
A handy, palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Blue Guide Southern Italy
by Paul Blanchard
A comprehensive guide to Southern Italy and especially its archaeology, history and culture. With maps and site plans.
Pompeii, Public and Private Life
by Paul Zanker, Deborah Schneider (Translator)
A comprehensive guide to the architecture, people and culture of Pompeii, focusing on both grand public spaces and private villas. With 21 color illustrations and 55 halftones, including site plans, models, mosaics and sculpture.
Campania Basilicata Map
by Touring Club Italiano
A colorful, durable map of Campania, including Naples and the Amalfi Coast.
by Gillian Darley
Darley unveils human responses to Mount Vesuvius, a place both feared and celebrated, from a cast of characters as far-flung as Pliny the Younger and David Hockney. This entry in Harvard University Press's excellent Wonders of the World series is a perfect introduction for travelers to Pompeii and Herculaneum.
by Italo Calvino
A treasured collection of 200 lively folk tales presented by one of the modern masters of Italian fiction. Calvino's elegant rendering of these old stories reveals his great affection for the folkloric traditions of his childhood.