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Catalog

SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Cruising the Rivieras of Italy, France & Spain

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 EXMED804. Buy these 6 items as a set for $91 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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The House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall

The House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall

by Christopher Hibbert

  • HISTORY
  • 1982
  • PAPER
  • 364 PAGES

A well-written, entertaining history of the Medicis in Renaissance Florence. Great to read before going to Florence, where the influence of the Medicis and the artists they supported is still very much in evidence. (ITL135, $16.99)

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

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)

A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France

A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France

by Georgeanne Brennan

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 209 PAGES
  • FAVORITE
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

Marvelously frank about daily chores and the decidedly unglamorous business of raising goats and pigs, Brennan lards her earthy tale of the rural life with recipes, one per chapter. (FRN687, $15.95)

France, A Traveler's Literary Companion

France, A Traveler's Literary Companion

by William Rodarmor

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

This collection contains literary gems from all corners of France by a select group of 20th-century French writers from Colette to Simenon. (FRN767, $14.95)

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 Explorer Map

Mediterranean Explorer Map

by Ocean Explorer Maps

  • 2006
  • MAP

This handy color map of the Mediterranean from Spain to the Black Sea and the Levant puts ancient sites and historic ports into context. With notable people, a timeline and descriptions of dozens of places. (MED89, $12.95)

 
Barcelona Map

Barcelona Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2012
  • MAP

A detailed city map, laminated and folded for easy reference. (SPN105, $8.95)

Florence Map

Florence Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2006
  • MAP

A detailed, plastic-covered city map of Florence at a scale of 1:7,000. (ITL59, $8.95)

Pocket Rough Guide Barcelona

Pocket Rough Guide Barcelona


by Jules Brown

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES

With a pullout map, these handy guides include choice information on neighborhoods, shops, hotels, restaurants and sites. (SPN472, $12.99)

Pocket Rough Guide Rome

Pocket Rough Guide Rome


by Martin Dunford

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

By the savvy editors at Rough Guide, these just-right guides are bundled with a pullout map. (ITA254, $12.99)

The Food of France

The Food of France


by Waverly Root

  • FOOD
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 450 PAGES

An evocative and beautifully written survey of French food. First published in 1958 and revised in the mid-1970s, the book covers the important regions of French cuisine by dividing them into domains of Butter (northern France), Fat (Alsace) and Oil (the south). (FRN17, $18.00)

A Traveller's History of Spain

A Traveller's History of Spain


by Juan Lalaguna

  • HISTORY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

A swift survey from prehistory through the Romans, Goths and Moors to the present. (SPN06, $14.95)

Barcelona

Barcelona


by Robert Hughes

  • HISTORY
  • 1993
  • PAPER
  • 570 PAGES
  • FAVORITE
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

A Longitude favorite, this big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to today. (SPN01, $22.00)

French Riviera and Its Artists Art, Literature, Love, and Life on the Cote D'Azur

French Riviera and Its Artists Art, Literature, Love, and Life on the Cote D'Azur


by John Baxter

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

From Henri Matisse and F. Scott Fitzgerald to Coco Chanel and Brigitte Bardot, Baxter vividly introduces the star-studded cultural history of the French Riviera's golden age; illustrated throughout with 300 photos, both color and black-and-white. (FRA202, $19.95)

Ghosts of Spain

Ghosts of Spain


by Giles Tremlett

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 396 PAGES

Tremlett captures the Spanish character, history and modern politics in this masterful portrait, interweaving the story of his love for the country (where he has lived for 20 years) with interviews, anecdotes and observation. (SPN323, $20.00)

In the Spirit of Monte Carlo

In the Spirit of Monte Carlo


by Pamela Fiori

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 160 PAGES

A quick, illustrated tour through the glamorous history of Monte Carlo, from the 700-year-old Grimaldi dynasty to the infamous Grand Prix race. Also includes an insider's guide for travelers to the city and environs. (FRA197, $50.00)

Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome

Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome


by Christopher Scarre

  • HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

A vivid overview of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and its expansion throughout North Africa and the Mediterranean, illustrated with ingenious color maps on many topics (political borders, trade, defense, religion) and 80 color photographs. (ITL29, $20.00)

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 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 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 Friar of Carcassonne

The Friar of Carcassonne


by Stephen O'Shea

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 280 PAGES

O'Shea (The Perfect Heresy) turns the tale of Friar Bernard Delicieux and a city that stood against Pope Boniface VIII, Machiavellian French King Philip the Fair and grand inquisitor Bernard Gui into a thrilling tale of resistance in Medieval Languedoc. (FRN991, $22.25)

The Italians

The Italians


by John Hooper

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2015
  • HARD COVER
  • 336 PAGES

Italy correspondent for The Economist Hooper explores Italy -- its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture -- in this illuminating portrait. (ITA528, $28.95)

The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France

The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France


by Ina Caro

  • HISTORY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 339 PAGES
  • BEST SELLER

Time travel through France by way of its finest castles, chateaux, cathedrals and monasteries. This unusual travelogue is an invaluable companion for traveling in Paris, southern France, the Dordogne and the Loire Valley, combining personal observation with large doses of well-presented history. (FRN03, $17.00)

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)

The French Riviera in the 1920s

The French Riviera in the 1920s


by Xavier Girard

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

An extraordinary look into the art, design and lifestyle of the French Riviera, featuring more than 200 illustrations. Girard pays special attention to the lifestyles of American expats like F. Scott Fitzgerald, artist Pablo Picasso and movies stars like Jean Cocteau as they made the south of France their haven and playground. Comes in a luxury slipcase. (FRA154, $195.00)

A Year in Provence

A Year in Provence


by Peter Mayle

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1991
  • PAPER
  • 207 PAGES

The original best-selling tale of settling down in Provence, told with warmth and a great deal of humor. It offers a wonderful inside look at the charms and quirks of the people and the countryside in the south of France. (FRN19, $14.95)

A Year in the World, Journeys of a Passionate Traveler

A Year in the World, Journeys of a Passionate Traveler


by Frances Mayes

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 420 PAGES

A warm account of mostly Mediterranean travels -- Spain, Portugal, Greece, Sicily, Capri, Sardinia, the Turkish Coast, Naples, Burgundy, Scotland -- arranged by season. (TVL109, $15.00)

Chagall, A Biography

Chagall, A Biography


by Jackie Wullschlager

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2008
  • HARD COVER
  • 608 PAGES

This insightful portrait of the Russian-born modernist artist describes his stunning studies of the lost world of Eastern European Jewry in his paintings of the shtetl life of his childhood, his pioneering role in twentieth-century art, his colorful personal life and his lasting artistic legacy. Includes more than 40 reproductions of his paintings. (FRN797, $40.00)

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 after "Under the Tuscan Sun," 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)

Garlic, Mint and Sweet Basil, Essays on Marseilles, the Mediterranean and Noir Fiction

Garlic, Mint and Sweet Basil, Essays on Marseilles, the Mediterranean and Noir Fiction


by Jean-Claude Izzo

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 120 PAGES

An evocative batch of essays on the cities, life and food of the Mediterranean and, in particular, Izzo's hometown of Marseilles, from the crime fiction writer who helped shape the literary genre of Mediterranean noir. (FRA62, $14.00)

Pillars of Hercules

Pillars of Hercules


by Paul Theroux

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 509 PAGES

Theroux seems to have had an exceptionally good time on his tour of the Mediterranean, circling the celebrated sea on foot, horseback, train and boat from Gibraltar to North Africa. (MED20, $17.00)

Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron

Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron


by Edward Trelawney

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

The lives and deaths of these two most romantic of Romantic poets are lovingly recounted in this memoir by Edward Trelawny. Trelawny was a fascinating figure in his own right, and his tribute to his two lost friends bears all the marks of his own generous, wild personality. (ITL336, $13.95)

Sea and Sardinia

Sea and Sardinia


by D.H. Lawrence

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 211 PAGES

A marvelous account of a trip to Sardinia, evoking both the charms and travails of the then-remote island and the personality of the author. It's a pleasingly exaggerated, accessible portrait of life on the island, circa 1921. (ITL349, $17.00)

The Olive Farm

The Olive Farm


by Carol Drinkwater

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 332 PAGES

The British actress relates with humor and zeal how she and her husband Michel transformed an abandoned olive grove into a thriving, productive farm, bringing not only new peace and meaning into their lives but also giving them a taste of bureaucracy and whole new set of querulous French friends and neighbors. (FRN925, $16.00)

Two Towns in Provence

Two Towns in Provence


by M. F. K. Fisher

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1983
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Celebrated food writer M.F.K. Fisher contrasts village life in Aix-en-Provence with bustling Marseilles, evoking these two favorite places with anecdote and loving description. (FRN27, $18.95)

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins


by Jess Walter

  • LITERATURE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

Award-winning, bestselling author Jess Walter brings us to the Italian Riviera in this glittering love story. Based on actual events. (ITA452, $15.99)

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 Five-Forty-Five to Cannes

The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes


by Tess Uriza Holthe

  • LITERATURE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

The intricately woven plot of these bittersweet stories center on a wealthy American's suspicious death on the French Riviera. (FRN766, $13.00)

The Marseille Caper

The Marseille Caper


by Peter Mayle

  • MYSTERY
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 209 PAGES

The author of the best-selling A Year in Provence (FRN19) turns his pen to crime with this playful yarn about an insurance agent caught in the middle of disputed land deal on Marseille's waterfront. This is a sequel to The Vintage Caper (FRN912). (FRA21, $14.95)

The Sibyl in Her Grave

The Sibyl in Her Grave


by Sarah Caudwell

  • MYSTERY
  • 2001
  • PAPER

A delightful comedy of manners starring Oxford professor and amateur sleuth Hilary Tamar, the last in a series of four. In this installment, the story veers from Britain to Cannes, where the action (as usual) involves taxes and lawyers. (FRN539, $7.99)

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.