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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Sicily, the Amalfi Coast & Rome

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 EXITL710. Buy these 5 items as a set for $78 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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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)

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)

Eyewitness Guide Sicily

Eyewitness Guide Sicily

by Eyewitness Guides | DK Publishing

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 256 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)

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)

Italy Map

Italy Map

by Borch Maps

  • 2011
  • 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, $11.95)

 
Palermo City Map

Palermo City Map


by

  • MAP

A walking map of the city at 1:10,000 (ITA181, $12.95)

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)

Sicily Adventure Map

Sicily Adventure Map


by National Geographic Society

  • 2011
  • MAP

Printed on water- and tear-resistant paper, this handy, double-sided map (1:200,000) map includes insets of Lipari and other islands. (ITL20, $11.95)

Siracusa Map

Siracusa Map


by Litographia Artistica Cartographica

  • MAP

A provincial road map of the Siracusa (Syracuse), Sicily at a scale of 1:150,000. (ITL592, $12.95)

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)

Eat Smart in Sicily, How to Decipher the Menu, Know the Market Foods & Embark on a Tasting Adventure

Eat Smart in Sicily, How to Decipher the Menu, Know the Market Foods & Embark on a Tasting Adventure


by Joan Peterson

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

Discover the heart of Sicilian culture through its sumptuous cuisine with this pocket guide. (ITL911, $13.95)

Eyewitness Top 10 Naples & Amalfi Coast

Eyewitness Top 10 Naples & Amalfi Coast


by Jeffrey Kennedy

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. With a pull-out map. (ITA178, $14.00)

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)

Wallpaper City Guide Palermo

Wallpaper City Guide Palermo


by Wallpaper City Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

A stylish, thin (it fits in your back pocket) city guide compiled by the design magazine Wallpaper's local reporters. Well-organized, with chapter tabs, many photographs and of-the-moment recommendations. (ITA479, $11.95)

A Traveller's History of Italy

A Traveller's History of Italy


by Valerio Lintner

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 287 PAGES

A brief history of Italy through the 1990s -- wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed. With a useful chronology and historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries. (ITL86, $14.95)

Italianissimo

Italianissimo


by Louise Fili | Lise Apatoff

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • HARD COVER
  • 111 PAGES

Divertingly illustrated, this A-to-Z guide profiles 50 very Italian customs and concepts from the notion of beauty (bellisimo) to the Italian disregard for lines (Fare La Coda). (ITL983, $19.95)

The Siege of Malta, 1565

The Siege of Malta, 1565


by Ernle Bradford

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

An eyewitness account by humble solider Francisco Balbi di Correggio of one of the greatest-ever battles as a few men under the Knights of St. John took on a huge Turkish armada. Translated and edited with commentary by Ernie Bradford. (MLT28, $24.95)

Herculaneum: Italy's Buried Treasure

Herculaneum: Italy's Buried Treasure


by Joseph Jay Deiss

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 222 PAGES

An artful and wonderfully written description of the daily life of the Romans at the time of the destruction of Herculaneum. (ITL41, $19.95)

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling


by Ross King

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

Presented with flair and backed by a wealth of research, King's captivating chronicle of Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel tells the story of its conception and creation. (ITL464, $18.00)

St. Peter's

St. Peter's


by Keith Miller | Mary Beard

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Miller traces the evolution of St. Peter's from its original incarnation, built on the orders of Emperor Constantine, to its medieval rebirth and additions by Michelangelo, Bernini and Maderno in this history, guide and celebration of the great baroque basilica. (ITL886, $14.95)

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)

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 Tennessee Williams, Betrand Russell and other guests, famous and infamous, since 1947. (ITL148, $16.95)

City of the Soul, A Walk in Rome

City of the Soul, A Walk in Rome


by William Murray

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

A personal portrait of Rome from William Murray, a writer for The New Yorker, who was raised in Italy. Murray recounts neighborhoods, buildings, archaeology and history in a personal, anecdotal ramble. (ITL506, $16.95)

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)

Italian Ways, On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo

Italian Ways, On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo


by Tim Parks

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Riding its trains from his home in Verona over to Milan and south to Rome, Palermo, down to the heel of Italy, ebullient expat Tim Parks (Italian Neighbors, Medici Money et al) delivers another winning portrait of Italy and of the Italian character. (ITA368, $15.95)

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)

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)

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, $15.95)

Palermo

Palermo


by Roberto Alajmo

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2010
  • HARD COVER
  • 193 PAGES

In this charming little book, Alajmo offers a wry, lyrical portrait of his native city, its people, charms and "big problems." What follows is a rollicking, odd journey through the peccadilloes of the Sicilian city. (ITA212, $19.95)

Ironfire, A Novel of the Knights of Malta and the Last Battle of the Crusades

Ironfire, A Novel of the Knights of Malta and the Last Battle of the Crusades


by David Ball

  • LITERATURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 688 PAGES

In this rousing historical novel the fates of a young boy, his sister, one of the Knights of Malta and an inquisitor play out against the backdrop of the 16th-century Ottoman assault on Malta, the formidable citadel of the Knights of St. John. (MLT18, $15.00)

Italy in Mind

Italy in Mind


by Alice Powers

  • LITERATURE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 349 PAGES

A terrific collection of some of the best literary writing on Italy, including pieces by Melville, Lawrence, Henry James, Mary McCarthy and many others. (ITL39, $18.95)

Pompeii, A Novel

Pompeii, A Novel


by Robert Harris

  • LITERATURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES
  • YOUNG ADULTS

In this fast-paced historical novel set in Pompeii, a young engineer sets out to repair the Roman aqueducts and discovers the imminent eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Full of suspense and historical detail. (ITL560, $15.00)

The Leopard

The Leopard


by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Evoking a lost world of privilege and tradition, Giuseppe 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 16 more installments -- and counting. (ITL528, $15.00)

The Smiles of Rome, A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers

The Smiles of Rome, A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers


by Susan Cahill

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 332 PAGES

A wonderfully inspired anthology featuring excerpts from 29 writers and artists interspersed with practical suggestions for travelers. (ITL573, $16.00)

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.