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Family Vacation: Venice, Florence & Rome

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

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Eyewitness Guide Italy

Eyewitness Guide Italy

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 672 PAGES

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. (ITL32, $30.00)

Ancient Rome, Archaeology Unlocks the Secrets of Rome's Past

Ancient Rome, Archaeology Unlocks the Secrets of Rome's Past

by Zilah Deckker

  • ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 2007
  • HARD COVER
  • 64 PAGES
  • FAMILY
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

Readers of all ages will enjoy this thoroughly illustrated guide to the history, discovery and excavation of Ancient Rome -- from ancient writing tablets and beautiful mosaics to the scientists who continue to piece together the archaeological puzzle. (ITA56, $17.95)

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
  • 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)

Italy Map

Italy Map

by Borch Maps

  • 2011
  • MAP
  • BEST SELLER

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)

 
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)

Fodor's Florence's 25 Best

Fodor's Florence's 25 Best


by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This shirt-pocket guide includes an excellent map and essential information on the city's highlights, including sightseeing, restaurants and shopping. (ITL140, $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)

Fodor's Venice's 25 Best

Fodor's Venice's 25 Best


by Citypack

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This shirt-pocket guide includes an excellent map of the city center and essential information. (ITL106, $13.99)

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)

Biba's Italy

Biba's Italy


by Biba Caggiano

  • FOOD
  • 2006
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

Caggiano focuses on regional, seasonal food in this omnibus cookbook (featuring 100 recipes), menu planner and travel guide to Rome, Florence, Bologna, Milan and Venice. Nicely produced, this handsome sepia-toned book includes recommended restaurants, cafes and markets in each city. (ITL777, $29.95)

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)

Inside the Vatican

Inside the Vatican


by Bart McDowell | Jim Stanfield

  • RELIGION
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

This selection of stunning, behind-the-scenes color photographs of the Vatican includes text describing the city-state's history and some background on the modern popes. (ITL55, $19.95)

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)

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)

Tuscan Country, A Photographer's Journey

Tuscan Country, A Photographer's Journey


by Wes Walker

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2007
  • HARD COVER
  • 160 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

Walker captures the allure of the hill towns, including Siena, Lucca, Pisa and smaller cities and villages in 100 luminous color photographs. (ITL848, $29.95)

Cathedral, The Story of its Construction

Cathedral, The Story of its Construction


by David Macaulay

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1981
  • PAPER
  • 77 PAGES
  • MIDDLE READERS (Age 9-12)

In this illuminating book for middle readers, master draughtsman MacAulay presents text and innovative drawings that detail the planning and construction of a 13th-century Gothic cathedral. It's a masterpiece. (EUR24, $9.95)

City, A Story of Roman Planning and Construction

City, A Story of Roman Planning and Construction


by David Macaulay

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1983
  • PAPER
  • 112 PAGES
  • FAMILY

With innovative charts, drawings, text and a glossary, master draughtsman Macaulay tackles the planning and building of a typical Roman city, circa 25 BC, creating a fascinating portrait of Roman engineering for the whole family. (ITL507, $10.99)

Italy, Monuments Past and Present

Italy, Monuments Past and Present


by R.A. Staccioli

  • ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 2003
  • FLEXI-BOUND
  • 78 PAGES

This informative volume shows Italy's most important monuments as they look today and, via overlaid illustrations, as they were once upon a time. The book surveys the history and archeological highlights of Pompeii, Rome and Sicily. (ITL455, $25.00)

The Art of the Renaissance

The Art of the Renaissance


by Peter Murray

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 286 PAGES

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. (ITL14, $18.95)

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)

Venice, The Grand Canal

Venice, The Grand Canal


by Daniele Resini

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2005
  • HARD COVER

This ingenious book unfolds accordion-style to reveal a 42-foot panorama of the palaces, churches and museums fronting Venice's glorious Grand Canal. The photographer, Daniele Resini, took the photographs over a period of three years to create one perfectly continuous portrait of this architectural wonder. (ITL663, $50.00)

Four Seasons in Rome

Four Seasons in Rome


by Anthony Doerr

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

Doerr captures the romance and challenge of living abroad in this lyrical memoir, invitingly subtitled "On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World." (ITL840, $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)

The World of Venice

The World of Venice


by Jan Morris

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 315 PAGES
  • BEST SELLER
  • FAVORITE

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. (ITL12, $18.95)

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)

Death at La Fenice

Death at La Fenice


by Donna Leon

  • MYSTERY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 270 PAGES

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. (ITL555, $14.99)

Italy, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Italy, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by Lawrence Venuti

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Not just a literary companion, this anthology is also a who's who of contemporary Italian writers that captures the spirit, history and allure of the country. (ITL466, $14.95)

Ratking

Ratking


by Michael Dibdin

  • MYSTERY
  • 1997
  • PAPER

Venetian crime investigator Aurelio Zen goes after the kidnappers of a Perugian industrialist in this enjoyable thriller, winner of the Gold Dagger Award (and first book in the series). (ITL622, $15.00)

The Adventures of Pinocchio


by Carlo Collodi | Geoffrey Brock

  • LITERATURE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 189 PAGES

A work that is at once adventure, satire, and a powerful enchantment, this adult translation captures Collodi's bold mix of the picaresque, of street theater, and of folk and fairy tale. (ITA62, $14.00)

Travelers' Tales Italy

Travelers' Tales Italy


by Ann Calcagno | Jan Morris

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 437 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

A collection of 48 stories on traveling in Italy and Italian life, featuring the writing of Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Frances Mayes, Jonathan Keats, Stanley Crouch and others. (ITL182, $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.