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.
Central Italy Map
A regional map of Central Italy, including Tuscany, Umbria and Rome, at a scale of 1:400,000.
The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany
This handsome oversize picture book is a portrait of the Tuscan landscape and people. It contains maps, a travel guide and many color photographs.
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.
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.
The Renaissance, A Short History
The history, background, literature, sculpture, paintings and architecture of the Renaissance in just over 200 lively, thought-provoking pages.
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.
Rough Guide Tuscany and Umbria
This comprehensive travel guide includes region-by-region descriptions and a good overview of history and culture. With chapters on Florence and surroundings -- Lucca, Pisa, Maremma, Siena, Arezzo, Peruguia, Assisi, Spoleto and Orvieto.
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.
Catherine of Siena, A Passionate Life
Brophy sets this deeply researched biography of the saint against the backdrop of 14th-century Europe, showing Catherine's sheer fortitude and personal magnetism in her efforts to bring peace to a troubled time.
Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook
A handy, palm-size guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
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 Culinary Traveller in Tuscany
A Tuscany resident for 30 years, Elon presents 100 recipes from a hand-picked selection of favorite restaurants in this charming cookbook and travel guide. With 10 itineraries highlighting largely undiscovered regions of Tuscany, restaurants, trattorie, shops, wineries, olive oil producers, markets and food festivals.
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.
Every Day in Tuscany, Seasons of an Italian Life
Twenty years after "Under the Tuscan Sun," Mayes is still besotted by Italy -- her house, the tumbling geraniums, the people and the food -- all lovingly documented in her best memoir yet. With interludes in Portofino, Assisi and Rome and a focus on Renaissance master artist Luca Signorelli.