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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 EXMED701. Buy these 4 items as a set for $67 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. (ITL135, $16.99)

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)

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. (MED89, $11.95)

 
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
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 188 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
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 206 PAGES

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

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

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, $21.00)

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, $19.00)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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)

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)

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)

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 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.