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Treasures of the Mediterranean

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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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

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Napoleon

Napoleon

by Paul Johnson

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

In just over 200 blistering pages, British historian Johnson not only traces the major events of the emperor's life, from his birth on Corsica to his death on St. Helena, but also exposes Napoleon's ruthless appetite for power and his naked opportunism. (FRN348, $14.00)

The Middle Sea

The Middle Sea

by John Julius Norwich

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 720 PAGES

A marvelous writer who has already written on Byzantium, Venice and the Sahara, Norwich spins his magic in this story of culture, trade and politics, royalty and rulers, wars and religion in the Mediterranean. (MED98, $21.00)

Mediterranean by Cruise Ship

Mediterranean by Cruise Ship

by Anne Vipond

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

The best-selling, compact guide, featuring excellent local maps, hundreds of color photographs, concise background information and recommended excursions for ports-of-call throughout the Mediterranean. (MED34, $21.95)

 
Mediterranean Cruises Map

Mediterranean Cruises Map


by Freytag & Berndt

  • 2010
  • MAP

A double-sided, full-color map of the Mediterranean, including the Iberian Peninsula, the Black Sea, North Africa and the Levant, at a scale of 1:2,000,000. (MED36, $14.95)

Sorrento Peninsula & Amalfi Coast Map

Sorrento Peninsula & Amalfi Coast Map


by Litographia Artistica Cartographica

  • MAP

A detailed road map of the Sorrento Peninsula and Amalfi Coast, including Pompeii, Nocera and Salerno, with an inset map of Capri at a scale of 1:35,000, showing hiking trails, tracks, historic buildings and attractions. With travel information on the reverse. (ITL432, $12.95)

Lonely Planet Malta & Gozo

Lonely Planet Malta & Gozo


by Neil Wilson

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 184 PAGES

A compact, comprehensive guide to Malta, featuring maps, a good overview of culture, history and nature and plenty of practical information on excursions, accommodations and sightseeing. (MLT09, $17.99)

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
  • BEST SELLER

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)

Olive, A Global History

Olive, A Global History


by Fabrizia Lanza

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 128 PAGES

Lanza provides an engaging, potted history of the modest fruit. The author explains the olive's use in cooking and ritual and its appearance in art, from Greek myth to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Also includes a selection of recipes. (MED183, $17.00)

The Ancient Mediterranean

The Ancient Mediterranean


by Michael Grant

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1990
  • PAPER
  • 374 PAGES

Grant, a well-known classical scholar, provides this comprehensive history of the peoples and cultures of the Mediterranean, including Egypt, Israel, Crete, Greece, the Roman states and many others. A very well-researched account of Western history's roots. (MED10, $20.00)

The French Riviera, A Cultural History

The French Riviera, A Cultural History


by Julian Hale

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

From Roman outpost to Napoleonic battleground and playground for the rich and famous, this marvelously informed cultural guide covers the place of the Riviera in history, literature, art, architecture and the imagination. (FRN853, $20.25)

The Great Sea

The Great Sea


by David Abulafia

  • HISTORY
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 783 PAGES

With an eye for telling detail and anecdote, Abulafia traces the sweep of Mediterranean history from the time of Troy to the mid-19th century, populating his tale with vivid personalities. (MED179, $24.95)

The Mediterranean in History

The Mediterranean in History


by David Abulafia

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

A professor at Cambridge, Abulafia leads a team of eight historians in this engaging overview of the civilizations and societies affected by the great sea at the heart of Europe. Published in conjunction with the J. Paul Getty Museum, the book features 150 color and 150 black-and-white illustrations. (MED79, $29.95)

The Siege of Malta, 1565

The Siege of Malta, 1565


by Ernle Bradford

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

An eyewitness account by humble solider Francisco Balbi di Correggio of one of the greatest-ever battles as a few men under the Knights of St. John took on a huge Turkish armada. Translated and edited with commentary by Ernie Bradford. (MLT28, $24.95)

Midnight in Sicily, On Art, Food, History, Travel and La Cosa Nostra

Midnight in Sicily, On Art, Food, History, Travel and La Cosa Nostra


by Peter Robb

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Combining interviews, research and essays on Sicilian history and culture, this vivid report by journalist Robb is a superb introduction to Italy's glorious, corrupt and troubled south. (ITL74, $20.00)

On Persephone's Island

On Persephone's Island


by Mary Taylor Simeti

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1986
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

Strong on the delights of rural life, Simeti's portrait of Sicily takes the form of a year-long journal, capturing the spirit of the people, daily life, traditions and the land. (ITL03, $15.95)

Anything Considered

Anything Considered


by Peter Mayle

  • LITERATURE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

The story of Bennet, an Englishman who places an ad looking for employment and finds himself living in a wealthy businessman's condo in Monaco. (FRN154, $15.00)

Ironfire, A Novel of the Knights of Malta and the Last Battle of the Crusades

Ironfire, A Novel of the Knights of Malta and the Last Battle of the Crusades


by David Ball

  • LITERATURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 688 PAGES

In this rousing historical novel the fates of a young boy, his sister, one of the Knights of Malta and an inquisitor play out against the backdrop of the 16th-century Ottoman assault on Malta, the formidable citadel of the Knights of St. John. (MLT18, $15.00)

Tender is the Night

Tender is the Night


by F. Scott Fitzgerald | Charles Scribner

  • LITERATURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 317 PAGES

Fitzgerald's tragic tale of wealthy expatriate lovers living on the French Riviera. Dick and Nicole Diver fill their home with friends, but cannot find happiness and slowly slip into psychological despair. (FRN196, $16.00)

The Hundred Days

The Hundred Days


by Patrick O'Brian

  • LITERATURE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Napoleon's escape from Elba as filtered through the marvelous novelistic lens of Patrick O'Brian. (MED38, $15.95)

The Leopard

The Leopard


by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Evoking a lost world of privilege and tradition, Giuseppe Di Lampedusa's memorable tale, set on a rural Sicilian estate during the days of independence, follows the world-weary Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina. A classic, now in a 50th anniversary edition. (ITL11, $16.00)

The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water


by Andrea Camilleri

  • MYSTERY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

The first of Camilleri's wildly popular Inspector Montalbano mysteries, nicely translated and shot through (pun intended) with not just memorable characters but also with Sicilian lore and politics. If you like the series, it continues in 16 more installments -- and counting. (ITL528, $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.