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Sicilian Odyssey Northbound

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

Item EXITL1018. Buy these 6 items as a set for $106 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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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)

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)

The World of Venice

The World of Venice

by Jan Morris

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 315 PAGES
  • 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)

Eyewitness Guide Sicily

Eyewitness Guide Sicily

by Eyewitness Guides | DK Publishing

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 252 PAGES

This superb guide to Sicily features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a synopsis of the island's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry. (ITL468, $23.00)

Frommer's EasyGuide to Rome, Florence and Venice

Frommer's EasyGuide to Rome, Florence and Venice

by Frommer's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

EasyGuides are full of practical, easy-to-absorb information and emphasize authentic experiences. This lightweight guide highlights important attractions with expert advice on accommodations and meals. (ITA397, $16.95)

Italy Map

Italy Map

by Borch Maps

  • 2016
  • MAP

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, $12.95)

 
Rome Map

Rome Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2016
  • MAP

A handy map at a scale of 1:11,000, with a more detailed overview of the city center. (ITL60, $9.95)

Venice Map

Venice Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2016
  • MAP

A colorful, detailed city map of Venice, perfect for finding your way around the famously labyrinthine streets and canals. (ITL26, $9.95)

Sicily

Sicily


by Silver Spoon

  • FOOD
  • 2013
  • HARD COVER
  • 271 PAGES

With a chapter on each of Sicily's nine provinces, color photographs and notes on food traditions, this gorgeous book from Silver Spoon is as much a travelogue as a cookbook. (ITA374, $39.95)

Palermo, City of Kings, The Heart of Sicily

Palermo, City of Kings, The Heart of Sicily


by Jeremy Dummett

  • HISTORY
  • 2015
  • HARD COVER
  • 272 PAGES

The first history of Palermo available, this invitingly short book is a standalone history of the city, but also surveys important monuments and sites. (ITA588, $28.00)

Seeking Sicily, A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the Mediterranean

Seeking Sicily, A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the Mediterranean


by John Keahey

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

Taken with Sicily, its culture and its literature, Keahey explores the food, history and pure pleasure of the place, using his heroes Giuseppe di Lampedusa, Leonardo Sciascia and other Sicilian literary greats as guides. (ITA274, $29.99)

Sicilian Odyssey

Sicilian Odyssey


by Francine Prose

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2003
  • HARD COVER
  • 192 PAGES

Novelist Francine Prose tries her hand at travel writing in this lyrical, vibrant and concise portrait of Sicily. Prose evokes Sicily's history, art, landscape and cuisine through considerations of her own journey across the island. (ITL451, $20.00)

Sicily, An Island at the Crossroads of History

Sicily, An Island at the Crossroads of History


by John Julius Norwich

  • HISTORY
  • 2015
  • HARD COVER
  • 432 PAGES

Norwich delivers a page-turning account of Sicily, from the Classical period through the Mafia, highlighting the crucial role the island has played in world politics. (ITA558, $32.00)

Siena: City of Secrets

Siena: City of Secrets


by Jane Tylus

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2015
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

Combining literary flair with impressive scholarship, Tylus transforms the aloof, frozen-in-time city of Siena into a living organism by exploring its history and culture, forgotten innovations and artistic and architectural accomplishments. (ITA535, $26.00)

The Medici, Power, Money and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance

The Medici, Power, Money and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance


by Paul Strathern

  • HISTORY
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 464 PAGES

This dramatic history traces the rise of the Medici family from their modest origins in Florence to their place as one of Europe's most powerful dynastic families. A remarkable tale of power, money and ambition set against the backdrop of the Renaissance. (ITA584, $28.95)

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)

Ancient Sicily, Monuments Past & Present

Ancient Sicily, Monuments Past & Present


by G. Messineo | E. Borgia

  • ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 72 PAGES

In this illuminating overview, ingenious overlays depict 17 important sites as they appear today and how they may have appeared in the past. (ITL733, $29.95)

Architecture of the Renaissance, From Brunelleschi to Palladio

Architecture of the Renaissance, From Brunelleschi to Palladio


by Bertrand Jestaz

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

Originating in Florence, the flowering of architecture in 15th-century Italy revolutionized the look of European cities and the mindsets of their citizens. This lavishly illustrated pocket book presents the people, the time and its monuments in hundreds of color photographs and engravings. (ITL52, $15.95)

Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel


by Andrew Graham-Dixon

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

Taking readers behind the beauty of the world's most famous fresco, this articulate piece of art criticism is a full history of the masterwork and includes plenty of rich, full-color illustrations. (ITA553, $16.99)

Michelangelo, A Life in Six Masterpieces

Michelangelo, A Life in Six Masterpieces


by Miles J. Unger

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

This highly readable biography of Michelangelo will delight the traveler with its accessible explanations of six of the artist's well-known masterpieces, such as the Pieta, David, the Sistine Chapel fresco and St. Peter's Basilica. (ITA454, $17.00)

A House in Sicily

A House in Sicily


by Daphne Phelps

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

An old-fashioned memoir of life at Casa Cuseni, the pensione and garden in Taormina run by the indomitable Daphne Phelps, which has been a sanctuary for such guests as Tennessee Williams, Betrand Russell and others, famous and infamous, since 1947. (ITL148, $16.95)

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, $16.95)

The Agony and the Ecstasy, A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo

The Agony and the Ecstasy, A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo


by Irving Stone

  • LITERATURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 776 PAGES

An overheated, page-turning fictionalized account of the life of master painter and sculptor Michelangelo -- and a good introduction to Renaissance Florence and Rome. (ITL150, $18.00)

The Leopard

The Leopard


by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Evoking a lost world of privilege and tradition, 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 19 more installments -- and counting. (ITL528, $15.00)

The Wine-Dark Sea

The Wine-Dark Sea


by Leonardo Sciascia | Avril Bardoni | Alberto Mobilio

  • LITERATURE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 201 PAGES

A collection of 13 stories, all set in the celebrated writers' native Sicily, and featuring mafiosi, carabinieri and villagers. (ITL408, $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.