Favorite Books for Italophiles.

Favorite Books for Italy Lovers

Books for Italophiles. {15 Favorites}

There are hundreds of fantastic books about Italy. What better way to get lost than by diving into the depths of history, romance, cuisine & obsession?

These are a few of my favorites- The list is always growing. How about you?


  • Four Seasons in Rome (Anthony Doerr, 2008) Anthony, his wife and newborn twins move from Boise, Idaho to Rome for a year of writing and exploring- stumbling through their days raising babies in a different language and culture with the grandeur of Rome as their backdrop. I would love this book even if Anthony wasn’t from Boise, and even if he wasn’t writing about Rome. However, these 2 things only add to the draw for me. I adore this book and have read it repeatedly.
  • Brunelleschi’s Dome (Ross King, 2013) A fascinating historical account of the genius behind the design of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiori, Fillipo Brunelleschi. Great to read before a trip to Florence, where you must enjoy the dome close up!
  • Italy for the Gourmet Traveler (Fred Plotkin, 1996) A delicious book full of insider information about regional foods and the best places to try them. A must for any food lover who is going to Italy. It’s a large book, and best for research before your trip.
  • In Tuscany (Frances Mayes, Bob Krist, Edward Mayes, 2000) Full of essays and hundreds of beautiful photos of the Tuscan countryside, this book is great to keep out on your coffee table and thumb through when wanderlust hits.
  • A Room with a View  (E.M. Forster, 1908) The classic romantic novel (also a movie) set in Florence.
  • The Enchanted April (Elizabeth von ArnimCathleen Schine 2007) The enchanting story of 4 English women, initially strangers- renting a castle in Italy for the month of April. I loved the book & the movie.
  • A Thousand Days in Tuscany (Marlena de Blasi, 2005 ) The follow up to A Thousand Days in Venice, and one of my favorite books. Marlena invites you into the swirl of her colorful and delicious life- and introduces you to the strangers who become her family in the tiny Tuscan town that she and her husband move to after leaving Venice.
  • The Lives of the Artists (Giorgio Vasari, 1550) Written over 400 years ago, Mr. Vasari shares biographies, details and anecdotes of some of the most important artists of the Renaissance. Perfect to read to prepare for a trip to Italy.
  • Leonardo & The Last Supper (Ross King,  2013) An intimate look inside the life of Leonardo Da Vinci and in particular, his time living in Italy and working on the famous Fresco “The Last Supper” housed inside the convent dining hall at Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. I found it particularly interesting to read while living in Milan.
  • Living in a Foreign Language (Michael Tucker, 2008) Michael shares the true life tale of he and his wife, Jill Eikenberry falling in love with a cottage in Umbria. Michael includes all the delicious details about the food, the renovation, the friends they make and meals they eat along the way. I read this book before my first trip to Umbria and loved feeling familiar with it before I even arrived.
  • Italian Neighbors (Tim Parks, 2003) Tim shares the ins and outs of living as a foreigner in Italy- the nitty-gritty-not-always-pretty details as well as the beautiful and delicious moments. An enjoyable Italy based memoir, the first of several written by Mr. Parks.


What are you reading? What should I add to my list?

Happy Reading friends!



Favorite Books for Italy Lovers


Similar Posts