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Best of France and Italy

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXEUR820. Buy these 3 items as a set for $61 including shipping, 20% off the retail price.
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Eyewitness Guide Paris

Eyewitness Guide Paris

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 440 PAGES

Gorgeous, well-illustrated and filled with maps, this compact book provides an excellent overview of the French capital, its history, traditions and sights. (FRN02, $25.00)

Eyewitness Guide Florence & Tuscany

Eyewitness Guide Florence & Tuscany

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

Superbly illustrated, this compact guide shows the neighborhoods, museums, shops and sites of Florence and surroundings in full color. (ITL46, $25.00)

Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History

Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History

by Ada Gabucci

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

This lively, illustrated survey of Ancient Rome's monuments, history and art is a terrific introduction. (ITL419, $19.95)

 
Florence Map

Florence Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2006
  • MAP

A detailed, plastic-covered city map of Florence at a scale of 1:7,000. (ITL59, $8.95)

France Map

France Map


by Michelin

  • MAP

A colorful, accurate and up-to-date map of France at a scale of 1:1,000,000. (FRN07, $12.95)

Italy Map

Italy Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2011
  • MAP

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. (ITL19, $11.95)

Paris Map

Paris Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2011
  • MAP

A sturdy laminated map of the city center at a scale of 1:12,000 and all of Paris at a scale of 1:15,000. (FRN400, $8.95)

Rome Map

Rome Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2007
  • MAP

A handy map at a scale of 1:11,000, with a more detailed overview of the city center. (ITL60, $8.95)

Eyewitness Guide Provence & the Cote D'Azur

Eyewitness Guide Provence & the Cote D'Azur


by Roger Williams

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

This is an illustrated, colorful guide to the art and architecture, literature, history and attractions of Provence. With photographs and site plans, maps and sections on the Riviera, the Var, Bouches-du-Rhone, Vaucluse and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. (FRN18, $23.00)

Fodor's Paris' 25 Best

Fodor's Paris' 25 Best


by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This shirt-pocket map and guide includes essential information on the city's history, highlights and sightseeing, ideal for a short visit to the City of Light. (FRN41, $13.99)

Fodor's Rome's 25 Best

Fodor's Rome's 25 Best


by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This shirt-pocket guide includes a map of the city and essential information on its highlights. (ITL112, $13.99)

French or Foe?

French or Foe?


by Polly Platt

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 292 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

With humor, directness and great insight, this compact book is an expert and entertaining guide to the French and how to get along with them. The expanded third edition addresses France's romance with cell phones and includes a short chapter of recent vignettes. (FRN54, $16.95)

Made in France, A Shopper's Guide

Made in France, A Shopper's Guide


by Laura Morelli

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

Both a fascinating history of France's artisanal legacy and an insider's shopping guide, the book includes illustrations, maps, a primer on French shopping culture and craft festivals. (FRN706, $24.95)

Made in Italy, A Shopper's Guide

Made in Italy, A Shopper's Guide


by Laura Morelli

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

The second edition of Morelli's expert survey of handcrafted Italian shops and products from Murano glass to ceramics, jewelry and leather. (ITL473, $24.95)

The Food of France

The Food of France


by Waverly Root

  • FOOD
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 450 PAGES

An evocative and beautifully written survey of French food. First published in 1958 and revised in the mid-1970s, the book covers the important regions of French cuisine by dividing them into domains of Butter (northern France), Fat (Alsace) and Oil (the south). (FRN17, $18.00)

The Tuscan Year, Tuscan Life and Food in an Italian Valley

The Tuscan Year, Tuscan Life and Food in an Italian Valley


by Elizabeth Romer

  • FOOD
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 182 PAGES
  • FAVORITE
  • OUT OF PRINT

An intimate portrait of life on a Tuscan farm as seen primarily through the robust food and a Longitude favorite. Romer captures the goings-on in the countryside, and especially in the Cerotti kitchen, where traditional Tuscan rural food is prepared with loving care. Every chapter includes concisely described recipes. (ITL131, $15.00)

A Propos De Paris

A Propos De Paris


by Henri Cartier-Bresson

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

This handsomely produced coffee table book features 131 duotone images of Paris selected by Cartier-Bresson in honor of his 90th birthday. It's a splendid tribute to the people and life of the City of Light. (FRN132, $40.00)

La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind

La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind


by Beppe Severgnini

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

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. (ITL718, $15.00)

Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome

Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome


by Christopher Scarre

  • HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

A vivid overview of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and its expansion throughout North Africa and the Mediterranean, illustrated with ingenious color maps on many topics (political borders, trade, defense, religion) and 80 color photographs. (ITL29, $20.00)

The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings

The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings


by R.W.B. Lewis

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 350 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

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. (ITL47, $22.99)

The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France

The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France


by Ina Caro

  • HISTORY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 339 PAGES
  • BEST SELLER

Time travel through France by way of its finest castles, chateaux, cathedrals and monasteries. This unusual travelogue is an invaluable companion for traveling in Paris, southern France, the Dordogne and the Loire Valley, combining personal observation with large doses of well-presented history. (FRN03, $17.00)

In the South of France

In the South of France


by Don Krohn

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1999
  • HARD COVER
  • 117 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

With an overview of history and culture, generous literary excerpts and stunning color photographs, this handsome book is a splendid introduction to the landscapes and fields, villages, castles, medieval churches and chateaux of Provence and the south of France. (FRN192, $39.95)

The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages

The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages


by Alain Erlande-Brandenburg

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 175 PAGES

This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology. (MED07, $15.95)

Vincent Van Gogh, The Passionate Eye

Vincent Van Gogh, The Passionate Eye


by Pascal Bonafoux

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 175 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

From Paris to Asnieres, Amsterdam and Provence, this jewel of a book traces the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh, the spirited, self-destructive painter who celebrated the south of France. Engaging, compact and illustrated with hundreds of photographs. (FRN29, $15.95)

A Year in Provence

A Year in Provence


by Peter Mayle

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1991
  • PAPER
  • 207 PAGES

The original best-selling tale of settling down in Provence, told with warmth and a great deal of humor. It offers a wonderful inside look at the charms and quirks of the people and the countryside in the south of France. (FRN19, $14.95)

Between Meals, An Appetite for Paris

Between Meals, An Appetite for Paris


by A.J. Liebling

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 182 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Liebling captures with stylish prose his coming-of-age in Paris in this elegant memoir, which is also a tribute to French cuisine. (FRN32, $15.00)

Into a Paris Quartier, Reine Margot's Chapel and other Haunts of St. Germain

Into a Paris Quartier, Reine Margot's Chapel and other Haunts of St. Germain


by Diane Johnson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 204 PAGES

Novelist Diane Johnson (Le Divorce) writes with insight, verve and wit in this affectionate, personal portrait of St Germain-des-Pres, her neighborhood on the Left Bank. (FRN491, $10.95)

Italian Days

Italian Days


by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 479 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Grizzuti Harrison writes with warmth and depth of her journey from Milan south to Calabria in this sprightly account of Italy and the Italians. (ITL02, $16.00)

Paris to the Moon

Paris to the Moon


by Adam Gopnik

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 338 PAGES

Gopnik writes with candor and humor about Paris and Parisian ways in these charming reflections on adapting to life in glorious exile. (FRN208, $16.00)

Cabal

Cabal


by Michael Dibdin

  • MYSTERY
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 241 PAGES

Zen is called to the Vatican to investigate the death of Prince Ludovico Ruspanti, who plunged from the roof of St. Peter's Basilica. (ITL620, $13.95)

Italy in Mind

Italy in Mind


by Alice Powers

  • LITERATURE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 349 PAGES

A terrific collection of some of the best literary writing on Italy, including pieces by Melville, Lawrence, Henry James, Mary McCarthy and many others. (ITL39, $18.95)

Travelers' Tales France

Travelers' Tales France


by James O'Reilly | Larry Habegger

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 528 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

A wonderful collection of mostly contemporary tales, including such marvelous authors as Peter Mayle, M.F.K. Fisher, Mort Rosenblum, Ina Caro and Jan Morris. Organized thematically, it's a good introduction to the history, culture and character of France. (FRN05, $18.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.