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A Week in Rome, Umbria & Tuscany

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 EXITL835. Buy these 4 items as a set for $64 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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The Smiles of Rome, A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers

The Smiles of Rome, A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers

by Susan Cahill

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 332 PAGES

A wonderfully inspired anthology featuring excerpts from 29 writers and artists interspersed with practical suggestions for travelers. (ITL573, $16.00)

Songbirds, Truffles and Wolves, An American Naturalist in Italy

Songbirds, Truffles and Wolves, An American Naturalist in Italy

by Gary Paul Nabhan

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

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. (ITL99, $16.00)

Rough Guide Tuscany and Umbria

Rough Guide Tuscany and Umbria

by Jonathan Buckley | Tim Jepson

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 836 PAGES

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. (ITL292, $22.99)

Central Italy Map

Central Italy Map

by Touring Club Italiano

  • 2011
  • MAP

A regional map of Central Italy, including Tuscany, Umbria and Rome, at a scale of 1:400,000. (ITL103, $12.95)

 
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)

Tuscany Map

Tuscany Map


by Touring Club Italiano

  • 2011
  • MAP

This regional map is even better, now printed on water- and tear-proof paper. 1:200,000. (ITL102, $13.95)

Umbria Regional Map

Umbria Regional Map


by Touring Club Italiano

  • 2014
  • MAP

A colorful, detailed map of Umbria and surrounding areas, at a scale of 1:200,000. The most detailed map of the area available, imported from Italy. (ITL119, $13.95)

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)

Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook

Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook


by Lonely Planet

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 260 PAGES

A handy, palm-size guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler. (ITL531, $8.99)

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)

A Culinary Traveller in Tuscany

A Culinary Traveller in Tuscany


by Beth Elon

  • FOOD
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

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. (ITL729, $17.95)

Italy, A Short History

Italy, A Short History


by Harry Hearder

  • HISTORY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 294 PAGES

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. (ITL56, $29.99)

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)

The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany

The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany


by James Bentley | Hugh Palmer

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 216 PAGES

This handsome oversize picture book is a portrait of the Tuscan landscape and people. It contains maps, a travel guide and many color photographs. (ITL261, $26.95)

The Renaissance, A Short History

The Renaissance, A Short History


by Paul Johnson

  • HISTORY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 196 PAGES

The history, background, literature, sculpture, paintings and architecture of the Renaissance in just over 200 lively, thought-provoking pages. (ITL774, $15.00)

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)

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling


by Ross King

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

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. (ITL464, $18.00)

The Colosseum

The Colosseum


by Keith Hopkins | Mary Beard

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

This engaging overview of the history of the Colosseum deconstructs Hollywood-perpetrated misconceptions of gladiator-eating lions, Nero fiddling and other myths. (ITL654, $16.00)

The Piero Della Francesca Trail

The Piero Della Francesca Trail


by John Pope-Hennessy | Aldous Huxley

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2002
  • HARD COVER
  • 88 PAGES

A slim guide to the major paintings and frescoes of Piero found across Tuscany and Umbria. Originally published in 1993, this edition includes 52 color illustrations along with Huxley's influential essay on Piero's Resurrection of Christ. (ITL409, $24.95)

A Small Place In Italy

A Small Place In Italy


by Eric Newby

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

Naturally, the Newbys return to Italy. In this warm tale of 25 splendid years at their farm in northwest Tuscany, their house "I Castagni" plays as much a role (it was a ruin) as the uproarious Newbys and their many eccentric neighbors. (ITL111, $14.99)

A Traveller in Italy

A Traveller in Italy


by H.V. Morton | Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 640 PAGES

The much-beloved, enduring account of Morton's ramblings in the temples, tombs and villas of Tuscany, Lombardy, Emilia and the Veneto. (ITL417, $25.00)

A Valley in Italy, The Many Seasons of a Villa in Umbria

A Valley in Italy, The Many Seasons of a Villa in Umbria


by Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

This short memoir chronicles a year in the small Umbrian village of San Orsola--especially the delights and frustrations of renovating a decayed villa. Taking in food, wine, local customs and landscapes, the book is an excellent introduction to the region (ITL98, $14.99)

D.H. Lawrence and Italy

D.H. Lawrence and Italy


by D.H. Lawrence

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 495 PAGES

This omnibus Penguin Classics edition includes Lawrence's three travel tales, each very different in tone and all wonderful: Sea and Sardinia is a nostalgic look at traditional ways of life; Twilight in Italy, an evocation of Lawrence's memorable stay on Lake Garda; and Etruscan Places, his musings on ancient sites, including the painted tombs of Tarquinia. (ITL62, $18.00)

Every Day in Tuscany, Seasons of an Italian Life

Every Day in Tuscany, Seasons of an Italian Life


by Frances Mayes

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Twenty years later, 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. (ITA124, $15.00)

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)

On The Road with Francis of Assisi

On The Road with Francis of Assisi


by Linda Bird Francke

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

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. (ITL647, $15.95)

Reluctant Saint, The Life of Francis of Assisi

Reluctant Saint, The Life of Francis of Assisi


by Donald Spoto

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

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. (ITL849, $16.00)

Too Much Tuscan Sun, Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide

Too Much Tuscan Sun, Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide


by Roberto Rodi | Dario Castagno

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

With affection and humor, Castagno recalls his experience as a tour guide in Tuscany, and the remarkable travelers he meets along the way. His ease with and taste for Chianti combine to evoke intoxicating images of the much-loved Tuscan region. (ITL547, $16.95)

Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun


by Frances Mayes

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

In this best-selling memoir of buying, renovating and living in an abandoned villa in Tuscany, Mayes reveals the sensual pleasures found in rural Italy. (ITL85, $15.00)

After Hannibal

After Hannibal


by Barry Unsworth

  • LITERATURE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 250 PAGES

Unsworth's vivid novel takes in the history, landscape, pleasures and the other Americans and Europeans, like himself, who live in Umbria. (ITL100, $17.95)

Innocence

Innocence


by Penelope Fitzgerald

  • LITERATURE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

A comic novel set in mid-twentieth century Italy, by the inimitable Penelope Fitzgerald, author of "The Blue Flower". (ITL317, $13.95)

Italian Folktales

Italian Folktales


by Italo Calvino

  • LITERATURE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 763 PAGES

A treasured collection of 200 lively folk tales presented by one of the modern masters of Italian fiction. Calvino's elegant rendering of these old stories reveals his great affection for the folkloric traditions of his childhood. (ITL314, $25.00)

Summer's Lease

Summer's Lease


by John Mortimer

  • MYSTERY
  • 1991
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

A well-paced mystery set in the Tuscan countryside, by Sir John Morimer, author of Rumpole of the Bailey. Poor Molly Pargeter's idyll is upset when the water supply fails and a neighbor dies. John Gielgud starred in the Masterpiece Theatre adaptation as the seriously mischievous Haverford Downs. (ITL580, $18.00)

Tuscany and Umbria, The Collected Traveler

Tuscany and Umbria, The Collected Traveler


by Barrie Kerper

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 608 PAGES

Kerper hauled out her clipping files, interviewed her friends and raided her library for this inspired miscellany -- a quirky guide to the history, food, and landscape of Tuscany and Umbria. With travel essays, recommended reading and suggested hotels, restaurants, sights and shops. (ITL389, $19.00)

Tuscany For Beginners

Tuscany For Beginners


by Imogen Edwards-Jones

  • LITERATURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 323 PAGES

In this deliciously wicked tale, British novelist Edward-Jones skewers the pretensions of the English abroad, taking as her target the sodden proprietress of a mediocre B&B in Tuscany. (ITL609, $13.95)

Waking Raphael

Waking Raphael


by Leslie Forbes

  • LITERATURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 432 PAGES

This literary thriller, set in painter Raphael's hometown of Urbino, follows the fate of an art historian mixed up in local affairs. (ITL536, $15.00)

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.