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.
As The Romans Do
In 1995, after a twenty-year love affair with Italy, Alan Epstein fulfilled his dream to live in Rome. In As the Romans Do, he celebrates the spirit of this stylish, dramatic, ancient city that formed the hub of a far-flung empire and introduced the Mediterranean culture to the rest of the world.
Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History
This lively, illustrated survey of Ancient Rome's monuments, history and art is a terrific introduction.
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.
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.
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.
Nice has long been seen by some as a place with a different side to the sunny holiday vibe, a place full of organized crime and official corruption. This short book from 1982 denounces Nice’s corruption – it’s other title is Nice Côté Ombre (The Dark Side of Nice).
This engaging overview of the history of the Colosseum deconstructs Hollywood-perpetrated misconceptions of gladiator-eating lions, Nero fiddling and other myths.
The Smiles of Rome, A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers
A wonderfully inspired anthology featuring excerpts from 29 writers and artists interspersed with practical suggestions for travelers.
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 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.
Roman Art and Architecture
Sir Mortimer Wheeler describes Roman art, architecture and town planning in this abundantly illustrated book in the World of Art series.
F is for France: A Curious Cabinet of French Wonders
An alphabetized catalogue of quirky French culture and history tidbits.
The Oxford Illustrated History of the Roman World
Diverse scholars contribute chapters to this authoritative, illuminating overview of history, art, society and life of Roman and the Roman world. With maps, drawings and illustrations throughout.
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 Seven Hills of Rome, A Geological Tour of the Eternal City
With a timeline, chapters on each of the seven hills, Tiber Floodplain and overview of geology, this accessible guide, written by experts in geology, culture and history of Rome, shows the importance of the geological setting to the history of the city over the millennia.
Rome, A Cultural History
Not a comprehensive history, but a good, easy-to-read introduction to the city and its landmarks that will appeal both to first time visitors and those who know and love the city.
Florence: The Paintings & Frescoes, 1250-1743
A magnificent, never-before-published collection of every painting and fresco on display in the Uffizi, the Galleria Palatina of the Pitti Palace, the Accademia, and the Duomo, and more -- nearly 2,000 works of art -- all presented in a beautiful slipcased package.
Four Seasons in Rome
From the author of the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning #1 New York Times bestseller All the Light We Cannot See and Cloud Cuckoo Land, Four Seasons in Rome is a memoir about art and adventures in Rome.
Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
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.
Renaissance Florence, The Invention of a New Art
A cultural and social history of the city focusing on the great art and famous monuments, featuring vivid color pictures and illustrations.
Insight Guides; Explore Nice & the French Riviera
Explore Nice and the French Riviera is part of a new series and is the ideal pocket companion when discovering this colorful and glamorous part of southern France.
Napoleon: A Life
Andrew Roberts’s Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon’s thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation.