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. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.
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.
Eyewitness Guide Italy
Another gem in the Eyewitness series, this superb guide is handsome, convenient and up-to-date. Featuring color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country’s attractions.
A convenient laminated map of Italy at a scale of 1:800,000 with excellent topographic detail, an index and large maps of Sicily and Sardinia.
Berndtson & Berndtson
A colorful, detailed city map of Venice, perfect for finding your way around the famously labyrinthine streets and canals.
Jeffrey Kennedy, Reid Bramblett
Eyewitness Top Ten Rome
A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions.
Eyewitness Top Ten Venice
A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions in Venice.
Made in Italy, A Shopper’s Guide
The second edition of Morelli’s expert survey of handcrafted Italian shops and products from Murano glass to ceramics, jewelry and leather.
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.
A Traveller’s History of Italy
A brief history of Italy through the 1990s – wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed. With a useful chronology and historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.
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.
Italy correspondent for The Economist Hooper explores Italy – its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture – in this illuminating portrait.
City of Fortune, How Venice Ruled the Seas
Roger Crowley spins tales of three centuries of plunder and plague, imperial conquest and piracy in this riveting new history, chronicling the transformation of a tiny city of lagoon dwellers into the richest place on earth.
Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling
Presented with flair and backed by a wealth of research, King’s captivating chronicle of Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel tells the story of its conception and creation.
Pompeii, The Day a City Died
This indispensable pocket guide illustrates daily life in the city as revealed by its evocative frescoes, mosaics and treasures.
The Art of the Renaissance
A classic, illustrated survey of the world of the Renaissance and its art. With chapters on Florence and its artists, the Netherlands, early illustrated books and many individual artists.
Keith Hopkins, Mary Beard
This engaging overview of the history of the Colosseum deconstructs Hollywood-perpetrated misconceptions of gladiator-eating lions, Nero fiddling and other myths.
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
Grizzuti Harrison writes with warmth and depth of her journey from Milan south to Calabria in this sprightly account of Italy and the Italians.
Linda Bird Francke
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.
The World of Venice
Morris displays her talent for research, telling anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited portrait of a beloved city, its history and inhabitants. If you are going to read one book on Venice, we recommend this favorite.
Death at La Fenice
The first of the tremendously good Guido Brunetti mysteries, all set in the author’s beloved Venice, in which a famous conductor is found dead at the celebrated La Fenice theater.
A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome
Time travel into an ancient past through this fascinating chronicle of an imagined 24 hours in the life of a Roman patrician, when Imperial Rome is at the pinnacle of its power.