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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

City Explorers: Siena

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 EXITL755. Buy these 4 items as a set for $69 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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Footprint Tuscany

Footprint Tuscany

by Rebecca Ford

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

Featuring hundred of color photographs and maps, this informative guide balances an overview of history, culture and nature with helpful travel information. Includes Florence. (ITA91, $21.95)

Siena, City of the Virgin

Siena, City of the Virgin

by Titus Burckhardt

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

Burckhardt's classic portrait includes dozens of illustrations, maps and photographs of architecture and early Renaissance art of Siena. (ITL974, $22.95)

Tuscany in Mind

Tuscany in Mind

by Alice Powers

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

A fine literary anthology covering the region's history, geography, culture and (of course) food, featuring contributions by luminaries including D.H. Lawrence and Robert Browning. (ITL607, $14.95)

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)

 
Siena Map

Siena Map


by Litographia Artistica Cartographica

  • MAP

A very detailed map of Siena, scale 1:7000. (ITL299, $12.95)

Cadogan Guide Tuscany

Cadogan Guide Tuscany


by Dana Facaros | Michael Pauls

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 704 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

One in a series of relaunched guides by the team of Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls, with expanded color photographs and new maps. (ITA146, $21.95)

Culture Smart! Italy

Culture Smart! Italy


by Charles Abbott

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

A concise, no-nonsense guide to Italian customs, etiquette and culture along with helpful travel advice. (ITL877, $9.95)

Frommer's Florence & the Best of Tuscany Day by Day

Frommer's Florence & the Best of Tuscany Day by Day


by Darwin Porter

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 228 PAGES

A compact shirt pocket guide, ideal for a short visit, featuring remarkably good suggestions for everything from food, hotels and neighborhoods to shopping. With a separate foldout map of the city center. (ITL737, $14.99)

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)

The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy

The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy


by Hugh Johnson | Nicholas Belfrage

  • FOOD
  • 2009
  • FLEXI-BOUND
  • 320 PAGES

This astute guide to wine-making regions and villages in Tuscany includes a history of Tuscan grapes and culture, excellent color maps and profiles of select vintners and wines. (ITA72, $39.95)

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)

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)

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)

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)

La Bella Lingua

La Bella Lingua


by Dianne Hales

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES
  • NEW

Inebriated with the sounds of Italian, lovesick for its phrases and enamored of its earthy idioms, Hales, "a sensible woman of sturdy Polish stock," dives into the Italian of the piazza, literature, movies and streets in this charming memoir. (ITA26, $15.00)

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)

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)

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)

War in Val D'Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-1944

War in Val D'Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-1944


by Iris Origo | Denis Mack Smith

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 239 PAGES

A diary of day-to-day heroism and fortitude. The author and her family take children, deserters, escaped prisoners, and Jews fleeing the advancing Germans into their home in Tuscany. (ITL219, $15.95)

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)

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.