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
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.
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.
Under the Tuscan Sun
In this best-selling memoir of buying, renovating and living in an abandoned villa in Cortona, Tuscany, Mayes reveals the sensual pleasures found in rural Italy.
A map of the region, including Cinque Terra, at a scale of 1:200,000.
Bradt Guide Liguria, The Italian Riviera
A comprehensive guide in the growing series by Bradt, noteworthy for its focus on culture, nature and responsible travel, with plenty of practical travel details.
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.
Italy correspondent for The Economist Hooper explores Italy -- its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture -- in this illuminating portrait.
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.
Extra Virgin, A Young Woman Discovers the Italian Riviera
A memoir of travels and life in Liguria, where the Hawe sisters ventured and stayed. In this refreshingly candid account, the English sisters end up buying a house and learning the local customs and eccentricities of their neighbors in Diano San Pietro.
Cinque Terre, Portofino Hiking Map
Scaled at 1:50,000, this one-sided, color map depicts Italy from Sestri Levante to Montemarcello, with an inset of Portofino. Ideal for exploring this beautiful stretch of the Italian coast. Printed on water- and tear-resistant paper.
Award-winning, bestselling author Jess Walter brings us to the Italian Riviera in this glittering love story. Based on actual events.
The Food of Italy
Evocative of Italy and its diverse cuisine, this classic book, organized geographically, offers a cook's tour of the country. It's a well-informed and wonderful culinary guide.
The Portable Romantic Poets
This is the anthology to take along on a trip to Italy's Cinque Terra, England's Lake District or any other classic haunt of the romantic poets. This selection includes works by all the masters (and even an occasional mistress).
National Geographic Italy
Published in National Geographic's attractive visual style, this illustrated guide features hundreds of photographs, full color maps, and useful information on history, culture and travel.
Italy, A Short History
Elegantly written, generous and informative, this compact book takes in the sweep of Italian history from the Roman Republic through the Renaissance, World War II and up to the present.
A Ligurian Kitchen, Recipes and Tales from the Italian Riviera
A charming, personal cookbook with an abundance of authentic Ligurian recipes that can easily be replicated in an American kitchen.
Michelin Wine Trails of Italy
This handy guide focuses on driving tours and itineraries through Italy's many wine regions, including Langhe and Roero, lands of Barbera, Liguria, Lombardy, Sicily, Sardinia, Umbria and Tuscany.
Rick Steves' Snapshot Italy's Cinque Terre
A slim guide to the Cinque Terre region with Steves' expert-selected hotels, travel advice, major sites and places to relax.
Grizzuti Harrison writes with warmth and depth of her journey from Milan south to Calabria in this sprightly account of Italy and the Italians.