“THE HOUSE OF MEDICI, ITS RISE AND FALL”
BY CHRISTOPHER HIBBERT
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 RELUCTANT TUSCAN”
BY PHIL DORAN
When his wife impulsively buys a dilapidated farmhouse near Lucca, Doran has no choice but to follow her, capturing his hilarious ruminations on the townsfolk and the Italian way of life and descriptions of the breathtaking Tuscany landscapes in this memoir.
“ITALY IN MIND”
BY ALICE POWERS
A terrific collection of some of the best literary writing on Italy, including pieces by Melville, Lawrence, Henry James, Mary McCarthy and many others.
“SICILY: AN ISLAND AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY”
BY JOHN JULIUS NORWICH
Ancient Greek settlements, Punic battlegrounds and a royal playground, Sicily has witnessed the rise and fall of powers for thousands of years. In this page-turning narrative, Norwich expertly reveals the often overlooked influence Sicily has had on world history.
BY ROBERT HUGHES
Defying convention to become Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia's official poisoner, Francesca Giordano becomes the confidante of Lucrezia and the lover of Cesare while pursuing her father's murderer and struggling to prevent Renaissance Italy from resuming oppressive medieval practices.
“MICHELANGELO AND THE POPE’S CEILING”
BY ROSS KING
King's colorful chronicle of the world's most famous ceiling paints a maniacal pope, a budding artist and a "who's who" of other 16th-century Italians (Raphael, Machiavelli, and Leonardo da Vinci). Presented with flair and backed by a wealth of research.
BY JESS WALTER
Hailed by critics and loved by readers of literary and historical fiction, Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962... and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.