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Grand Tour of Italy

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 EXITL696. Buy these 5 items as a set for $83 including shipping, 20% off the retail price.
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Eyewitness Guide Italy

Eyewitness Guide Italy

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 672 PAGES

Another gem in the Eyewitness series, this superb guide is handsome, convenient and up-to-date. Featuring color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions. (ITL32, $30.00)

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 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)

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)

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)

 
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)

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)

Venice Map

Venice Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2008
  • MAP

A colorful, detailed city map of Venice, perfect for finding your way around the famously labyrinthine streets and canals. (ITL26, $8.95)

Fodor's Florence's 25 Best

Fodor's Florence's 25 Best


by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This shirt-pocket guide includes an excellent map and essential information on the city's highlights, including sightseeing, restaurants and shopping. (ITL140, $13.99)

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)

Fodor's Venice's 25 Best

Fodor's Venice's 25 Best


by Citypack

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This shirt-pocket guide includes an excellent map of the city center and essential information. (ITL106, $13.99)

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)

One Hundred & One Beautiful Small Towns in Italy

One Hundred & One Beautiful Small Towns in Italy


by Paolo Lazzarin

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 276 PAGES

This pocket-sized pictorial guide to some of Italy's hidden gems features towns from twenty diverse regions, each with varied landscapes, architecture and local specialties. (ITL546, $25.00)

Biba's Italy

Biba's Italy


by Biba Caggiano

  • FOOD
  • 2006
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

Caggiano focuses on regional, seasonal food in this omnibus cookbook (featuring 100 recipes), menu planner and travel guide to Rome, Florence, Bologna, Milan and Venice. Nicely produced, this handsome sepia-toned book includes recommended restaurants, cafes and markets in each city. (ITL777, $29.95)

The Tuscan Year, Tuscan Life and Food in an Italian Valley

The Tuscan Year, Tuscan Life and Food in an Italian Valley


by Elizabeth Romer

  • FOOD
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 182 PAGES
  • FAVORITE
  • OUT OF PRINT

An intimate portrait of life on a Tuscan farm as seen primarily through the robust food and a Longitude favorite. Romer captures the goings-on in the countryside, and especially in the Cerotti kitchen, where traditional Tuscan rural food is prepared with loving care. Every chapter includes concisely described recipes. (ITL131, $15.00)

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)

Italy, A Short History

Italy, A Short History


by Harry Hearder

  • HISTORY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 294 PAGES

Elegantly written, generous and informative, this compact book takes in the sweep of Italian history from the Roman Republic through the Renaissance, World War II and up to the present. (ITL56, $29.99)

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)

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)

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)

Four Seasons in Rome

Four Seasons in Rome


by Anthony Doerr

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

Doerr captures the romance and challenge of living abroad in this lyrical memoir, invitingly subtitled "On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World." (ITL840, $15.00)

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)

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)

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)

Venice Is a Fish

Venice Is a Fish


by Tiziano Scarpa

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

The hugely popular Venetian novelist, poet and playwright makes his English-language debut with these marvelously digressive essays on the many moods and pleasures of La Serenissima. (ITL964, $12.00)

Cabal

Cabal


by Michael Dibdin

  • MYSTERY
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 241 PAGES

Zen is called to the Vatican to investigate the death of Prince Ludovico Ruspanti, who plunged from the roof of St. Peter's Basilica. (ITL620, $13.95)

Death at La Fenice

Death at La Fenice


by Donna Leon

  • MYSTERY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 270 PAGES

The first of the tremendously good Guido Brunetti mysteries, all set in the author's beloved Venice, in which a famous conductor is found dead at the celebrated La Fenice theater. (ITL555, $14.99)

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)

Italy, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Italy, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by Lawrence Venuti

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Not just a literary companion, this anthology is also a who's who of contemporary Italian writers that captures the spirit, history and allure of the country. (ITL466, $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.