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.
The Art of the Renaissance
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.
Umbria Regional Map
A colorful, detailed map of Umbria and surrounding areas, at a scale of 1:200,000. The most detailed map of the area available, imported from Italy.
A Traveller's History of Italy
A brief history of Italy through the 1990s -- wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed. With a useful chronology and historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.
Songbirds, Truffles and Wolves, An American Naturalist in Italy
The author, a poet and naturalist, heads along the Franciscan Way from Florence to Assisi. This most unusual travelogue combines natural history, spirituality and a lively appreciation of local food and food traditions. A print-on-demand paperback.
Grizzuti Harrison writes with warmth and depth of her journey from Milan south to Calabria in this sprightly account of Italy and the Italians.
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).
Italy correspondent for The Economist Hooper explores Italy -- its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture -- in this illuminating portrait.
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
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.
An acclaimed new translation of Italy's greatest modern poet's work. Born in the Italian Marches in 1798, Leopardi lived in Rome, Central Italy, and Naples, where he died in 1837.
Rick Steves' Italian Phrase Book & Dictionary
This compact phrase book, organized thematically and with a brief dictionary, also includes Steves' insight into how to break the ice and make friends around the world.
Mysteries of the Middle Ages, And the Beginning of the Modern World
Cahill deftly evokes the historic glories of the major medieval figures (and the places they frequented) in this illuminating overview of philosophy, art and literature.
The Italian Renaissance
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.
Reluctant Saint, The Life of Francis of Assisi
Spoto draws on fascinating new research to explore the travels, spirit and work of the beloved saint. This engaging portrait provides an excellent overview of the life of St. Francis.
Unsworth's vivid novel takes in the history, landscape, pleasures and the other Americans and Europeans, like himself, who live in Umbria.
Italy in Mind
A terrific collection of some of the best literary writing on Italy, including pieces by Melville, Lawrence, Henry James, Mary McCarthy and many others.
A Valley in Italy, The Many Seasons of a Villa in Umbria
This short memoir chronicles a year in the small Umbrian village of San Orsola--especially the delights and frustrations of renovating a decayed villa. Taking in food, wine, local customs and landscapes, the book is an excellent introduction to the region
D.H. Lawrence and Italy
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 Umbria
A marvelously illustrated, compact guide to the culture, history and attractions of Umbria, organized geographically and especially helpful for its innovative site plans, building diagrams and local maps.
Italy for the Gourmet Traveler
Organized geographically, this encyclopedic guide features eating establishments, cooking schools, markets, shops and other gastronomic treasures in 500 cities and villages, perfect for the food-addled who can't be in the company of the irrepressible master himself.