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You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org
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Pocket Rough Guide Florence
Neither too big nor too slight, these handy guides include just the right amount of information on neighborhoods, shops, hotels, restaruants and sites (or should we say sights?) for a short visit. Well-organized and with an excellent pullout map.
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.
The story of the design and construction of the dome in the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, a tale rife with politics, cut-throat competition and mighty inspiration.
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
Italy correspondent for The Economist Hooper explores Italy -- its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture -- in this illuminating portrait.
Unsworth's vivid novel takes in the history, landscape, pleasures and the other Americans and Europeans, like himself, who live in Umbria.
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.
Every Pilgrim's Guide to Assisi
With travel tips and an introduction for those wishing to discover more about Frances and Clare, this handy pocket guide covers not just Assisi and the Basilica of St. Francis but also easy excursions father afield, including The Hermitage (Carceri), Rivotorto, the sanctuaries of the Rieti Valley, Gubbio, Perugia and Cortona.
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.
On The Road with Francis of Assisi
Assisi wandered for 20 years, affording Newsweek editor Francke and her patient husband plenty to see and do in the piazzas, sanctuaries and chapels of Assisi, Siena, Bologna, Venice, Gubbio, Rome and other choice spots.
The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
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.
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).
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.
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.
Return to Umbria
Filled with the nuances of Italian manners, mentality and preoccupation with food, this thriller is set in the picturesque Umbrian towns of Orvieto and Todi. Freelance translator Rick Montoya is pulled behind their beautiful facades into a world of tantalizing secrets.
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.