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.
This Is Rome
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.
Venice: An Illustrated Miscellany
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.
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.
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. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.
This engaging overview of the history of the Colosseum deconstructs Hollywood-perpetrated misconceptions of gladiator-eating lions, Nero fiddling and other myths.
The Raphael Affair
In the first of the popular Jonathan Argyll art mysteries, Argyll sneaks into a small church near Campo dei Fiori identify an undiscovered Raphael -- unfortunately for him, the painting has disappeared.
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.
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.
Renaissance Florence on 5 Florins a Day
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.
Eyewitness: Ancient Rome
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.
Kids Italian Picture Dictionary
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.
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.
Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History
This lively, illustrated survey of Ancient Rome's monuments, history and art is a terrific introduction.
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Presented with flair and backed by a wealth of research, King's captivating chronicle of Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel tells the story of its conception and creation.
Italy, A Traveler's Literary Companion
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.
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.
La Bella Lingua
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.
Leonardo Da Vinci
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.
The House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall
A well-written, entertaining history of the Medicis in Renaissance Florence. Great to read before going to Florence, where the influence of the Medicis and the artists they supported is still very much in evidence.
The World of Venice
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.