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Best Books About Italy

Recommendations from 13 articles, Bill Clinton, Rob Delaney, Adam Savage and 11 others.
31 books on the list
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My Brilliant Friend
Neapolitan Novels, Book One
Elena Ferrante - Sep 25, 2012 (first published in 2011)
Goodreads Rating
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship...
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
A Novel
Mark Sullivan - May 01, 2017
Goodreads Rating
Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, Beneath a Scarlet Sky is the triumphant, epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience during one of history’s darkest hours....
Recommended by
Michael Batnick
The Neapolitan Novels Boxed Set
Elena Ferrante - Nov 13, 2018 (first published in 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Nothing quite like this has ever been published before, proclaimed The Guardian about the Neapolitan novels in 2014. Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change, Elena Ferrante tells the story of a sixty-year friendship between the brilliant and bookish Elena and the fiery, rebelliou...
Recommended by
Rob Delaney
Midnight in Sicily
On Art, Food, History, Travel and la Cosa Nostra
Peter Robb - Nov 27, 2007 (first published in 1996)
Goodreads Rating
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the YearA New York Public Library Best Book of the YearFrom the author of M and A Death in Brazil comes Midnight in Sicily.South of mainland Italy lies the island of Sicily, home to an ancient culture that--with its stark landscapes, glorious coastlines, and extraordinary treasure troves of art and arche...
Eat Pray Love
One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Elizabeth Gilbert - Jun 29, 2010 (first published in 2006)
Goodreads Rating
A transformational journey through Italy, India, and Bali searching for pleasure and devotion—the massive bestseller from the author of Big Magic, on sale now! This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of mo...
Rick Steves Italy 2020
Rick Steves - Dec 17, 2019 (first published in 1995)
Goodreads Rating
From the Mediterranean to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta, experience Italy with Rick Steves! Inside Rick Steves Italy 2020 you'll find:Comprehensive coverage for planning a multi-week trip to ItalyRick's strategic advice on how to get the most out of your time and money, with rankings of his must-see favoritesTop sights and hidden gems, from...
Call Me by Your Name
A Novel
André Aciman - Jan 22, 2008 (first published in 2007)
Goodreads Rating
Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera.  During the restless summer weeks, unrelenting but buried currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion as they test the charged ground betwe...
The Leopard
Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa - Oct 15, 1991 (first published in 1958)
Goodreads Rating
This is an alternate cover edition for ISBN 9780679407577.The Sicilian prince, Don Fabrizio, hero of Lampedusa's great and only novel, is described as enormous in size, in intellect, and in sensuality. The book he inhabits shares his dimensions in its evocation of an aristocracy confronting democratic upheaval and the new force of nationalism. In t...
Recommended by
Arvind Subramanian
The Enchanted April
Elizabeth von Arnim - Jan 08, 2009 (first published in 1922)
Goodreads Rating
Elizabeth von Arnim's novel tells the story of four dissimilar women in 1920s England who leave their damp and rainy environments to go on a holiday to a secluded coastal castle in Italy. Mrs Arbuthnot and Mrs Wilkins, who belong to the same ladies' club, but have never spoken, become acquainted after reading a newspaper advertisement for a small m...
Where Angels Fear to Tread
E. M. Forster - Jun 01, 2008 (first published in 1905)
Goodreads Rating
"No, Mother, Lilia was really keen on going to Italy!" said Philip, finding the situation full of whimsical romance. There was something half attractive, half repellent in the thought of this vulgar woman journeying to places he loved and revered. But why should she not be transfigured by her journeys? The same had happened to the Goths! When a man...
The Story of the Lost Child
Neapolitan Novels, Book Four
Elena Ferrante - Sep 01, 2015 (first published in 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both are now adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship has remained the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborho...
Recommended by
Lee PaceJia Tolentino
From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon
SPQR by Mary Beard
DK Eyewitness Italy by Eyewitness
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Il Bel Centro by Michelle Damiani
City of Fortune by Roger Crowley
Pasta, Pane, Vino by Matt Goulding
Tuscany, Italy by Zeneba Bowers
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
Summer at the Lake by Erica James
Lonely Planet Italy by Lonely Planet
The Revealed Rome Handbook by Amanda Ruggeri
Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr
Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King
The House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert
Chasing the Rose by Andrea di Robilant
Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena de Blasi
The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri
An Italian Journey by James Ernest Shaw