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The Ultimate Alps and Dolomites

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 EXALP107. Buy these 5 items as a set for $101 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69

Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69

by Edward Whymper

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

Edward Wymper's classic account of Victorian-era mountaineering captures the geography, beauty and allure of the Alps. (ALP02, $16.00)

The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire

The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire

by Andrew Wheatcroft

  • HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

With skillful scholarship and engaging style, Wheatcroft reveals the history of this family of eccentric monarchs. (AST11, $18.00)

The Alps, A Cultural History

The Alps, A Cultural History

by Andrew Beattie

  • HISTORY
  • 2006
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

Beattie explores the turbulent past and vibrant present of the Alps, where early pioneers of tourism, mountaineering and scientific research have all left their mark. (ALP30, $36.95)

Eyewitness Guide Munich & the Bavarian Alps

Eyewitness Guide Munich & the Bavarian Alps

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

This comprehensive, illustrated guide is filled with excellent maps, hundreds of photographs and succinct overviews of history, culture and sightseeing. (GER119, $25.00)

Alps Map

Alps Map

by Freytag & Berndt

  • 2010
  • MAP

This regional map (1:500,000), centered on the Alps, includes portions of Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France. (ALP07, $14.95)

 
Northern Italy Map

Northern Italy Map


by Touring Club Italiano

  • MAP

This beautifully shaded road map of Northern Italy (1:400,000) shows the region including Trieste, Venice, Bologna Milan and Turin. (ITL38, $14.95)

Culture Smart! Switzerland

Culture Smart! Switzerland


by Kendall Maycock

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

A concise, no-nonsense guide to Switzerland's customs, etiquette and culture. (SWZ58, $9.95)

Eyewitness Guide Austria

Eyewitness Guide Austria


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 380 PAGES

This superb guide to all of Austria features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions. (AST59, $25.00)

Eyewitness Guide Switzerland

Eyewitness Guide Switzerland


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • FLEXI-BOUND
  • 328 PAGES

A compact, thoroughly illustrated guide, featuring over 900 photographs, good maps, and plenty of information on hiking in the Swiss Alps, natural and tourist attractions and the history and arts of Switzerland. (SWZ45, $25.00)

Insight Guide Switzerland

Insight Guide Switzerland


by Insight Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

This handsome guide gives a profusely illustrated overview of Switzerland, featuring concise essays by well-regarded authors on history, politics and culture, as well as hundreds of photos and maps and other practical information. (SWZ15, $24.99)

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)

Prost! The Story of German Beer

Prost! The Story of German Beer


by Horst D. Dornbusch

  • FOOD
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

The Munich-based aficionado weaves history and culture with the marvels and mysteries of German beer in this brief, authoritative guide. (GER99, $14.95)

A Traveller's History of Italy

A Traveller's History of Italy


by Valerio Lintner

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 287 PAGES

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. (ITL86, $14.95)

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)

La Place de la Concorde Suisse

La Place de la Concorde Suisse


by John McPhee

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 150 PAGES

McPhee deploys his usual insight and wonderful prose on the phenomenon of the Switzerland army to present an irreverent portrait of Switzerland and the Swiss mindset. (SWZ14, $16.00)

Slow Train to Switzerland, One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years -- and a World of Change Apart

Slow Train to Switzerland, One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years -- and a World of Change Apart


by Diccon Bewes

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

Bestselling author Diccon Bewes (Swiss Watching SWZ73) follows in the footsteps of an 1863 tour group who traveled from London to Lucerne, Switzerland. In his trademark breezy, intelligent prose, Bewes traces how tourism and time have caused a sea of change in Switzerland. (SWZ80, $29.95)

The German Way

The German Way


by Hyde Flippo

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 138 PAGES

This clever A-to-Z guide to quirks, attitudes, behavior and customs is a terrific resource for travelers seeking insight into why the Germans, Austrians and Swiss do what they do. (GER12, $18.00)

Why Switzerland?

Why Switzerland?


by Jonathan Steinberg

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 300 PAGES

A masterly overview of the idiosyncrasies of Switzerland, its history, language, politics and identity as a naysayer at the center of Europe. (SWZ04, $39.99)

Eiger Dreams, Ventures Among Men and Mountains

Eiger Dreams, Ventures Among Men and Mountains


by Jon Krakauer

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES

A collection of some of Krakauer's (Into Thin Air) best journalism, these stories and essays focus on the mindset and determination of world-class mountaineers, including Alpine and Himalayan climbers. (ALP10, $14.95)

Iceman: Uncovering the Life and Times of a Prehistoric Man Found in an Alpine Glacier

Iceman: Uncovering the Life and Times of a Prehistoric Man Found in an Alpine Glacier


by Brenda Fowler

  • ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 313 PAGES

The complete story of the discovery of and controversy surrounding the frozen corpse of a prehistoric man found in the Tyrolian Alps. (ALP20, $22.50)

Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps

Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps


by Fergus Fleming

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 398 PAGES

Fleming spins lively tales of man against nature in this entertaining history of the eccentrics, adventurers and publicity-hounds who sought to conquer the Alps, including Whymper and his first ascent of the Matterhorn (where four of the seven-man team perished). (ALP16, $14.00)

A Tramp Abroad

A Tramp Abroad


by Mark Twain | David Eggers | Kerry Driscoll

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

Written 11 years after Innocents Abroad, this is Twain's second foray into European travel. Filled with his characteristic wit and humorous observations, it documents his journeys through Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. Now with an introduction by Dave Eggers. (EUR78, $16.00)

Coming Out Swiss, In Search of Heidi, Chocolate and My Other Life

Coming Out Swiss, In Search of Heidi, Chocolate and My Other Life


by Anne Herrmann

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 264 PAGES

Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Anne Hermann's passionate celebration of what it means to be Swiss intertwines personal revelation with cultural fact. (SWZ82, $26.95)

Lola Montez, A Life

Lola Montez, A Life


by Bruce Seymour

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 480 PAGES

The life of the King Ludwig I's powerful paramour, whose influence may have led to the 1848 revolution in Bavaria. (EUR89, $45.00)

Ludwig II of Bavaria, The Swan King

Ludwig II of Bavaria, The Swan King


by Christopher McIntosh

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 331 PAGES

This lively biography of King Ludwig II, builder of the wild castles of Bavaria, chronicles in fascinating detail Ludwig's rise to the throne at age 18, his devotion to music and architecture and his death under questionable circumstances at the age of 41. (GER27, $18.00)

Mozart

Mozart


by Peter Gay

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 177 PAGES

This concise, entertaining portrait delves into Mozart's complex relationship with his father, his daunting role as a child prodigy and his exploration of new musical territory. (AST43, $15.00)

The Italian Summer: Golf, Food, and Family at Lake Como

The Italian Summer: Golf, Food, and Family at Lake Como


by Roland Merullo

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 259 PAGES

Merullo shares this congenial account of a summer with his family in Italy and Switzerland, offering delicious descriptions of wonderful meals, colorful characters -- and rounds of golf at some of the most beautiful courses in Europe. He is a golf fanatic. (ITA67, $24.99)

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers


by Maria von Trapp

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 312 PAGES
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

The true story of the von Trapp family singers, as remembered by Maria von Trapp herself. Maria was indeed a novice nun, but there ends her resemblance to the Julie Andrews' character in the Sound of Music. (AST47, $15.99)

Homestead

Homestead


by Rosini Lippi

  • LITERATURE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 210 PAGES

Set firmly in a small village in the Austrian Alps, these 12 interlinking stories are almost ethnographic in their rich detail of small town life. The stories range from the turn-of-the-century to the present, accurately charting change in the remote village. (ALP11, $13.95)

Solo Faces

Solo Faces


by James Salter

  • LITERATURE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 218 PAGES

The story of an American climber who, dissatisfied with his everyday life, travels to the Alps of southern France to tackle mountain peaks. The prose is glorious and the mountain-climbing scenes are as vivid as they get. (ALP14, $15.00)

The Radetzky March

The Radetzky March


by Joseph Roth | Joachim Neugroschel

  • LITERATURE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 331 PAGES

Magnificently set against the backdrop of the twilight of the Habsburg Empire, Roth's family saga takes in the sweep of history and empire in Central Europe. The richly textured novel opens at the battle of Solferino, when young Lieutenant Trotta saves the life of the Emperor. (AST17, $16.95)

The Walk

The Walk


by Robert Walser | Susan Bernofsky

  • LITERATURE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

In this classic novella by the Swiss modernist, freshly translated, Walser writes that "it is on walks that the lore of nature and the lore of the country are revealed, charming and graceful, to the sense and eyes of the observant walker." (SWZ75, $10.95)

Birds of Europe

Birds of Europe


by Lars Svensson

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 416 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second edition of this exquisite guide has been updated with revised text and maps. (FG47, $29.95)

Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe

Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe


by Andrew Cleave

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

A colorful field guide featuring commonly encountered species of the fields and gardens of Europe. (EUR371, $14.95)

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.