Travel Reads


By Ettore Pettinaroli

Italy: Landscape and History looks at the natural and architectural delights of one of the most beautiful countries in the world. With more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country, it seems as if around every corner in Italy lies a beautiful Roman ruin, a wonderful Renaissance church, or a breathtaking timeless village view. But it is not just the buildings that are beautiful: Italy’s landscapes, high mountains, rolling hills and valleys, and sun-washed coasts have inspired generations. Italians seem to have an innate feeling for color and design, and when you study their countryside it comes as no surprise that so many of the world’s greatest artists, poets, and musicians came from this wonderful land.

Every Day In Tuscany: Seasons Of An Italian Life

By Frances Mayes, Author Of  Under The Tuscan Sun

Frances Mayes offers her readers a deeply personal memoir of her present-day life in Tuscany, encompassing both the changes she has experienced since Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany appeared, and sensuous, evocative reflections on the timeless beauty and vivid pleasures of Italian life. Among the themes Mayes explores are how her experience of Tuscany dramatically expanded when she renovated and became a part-time resident of a thirteenth-century house with a stone roof in the mountains above Cortona, how life in the mountains introduced her to a “wilder” side of Tuscany–and with it a lively engagement with Tuscany’s mountain people. Throughout, she reveals the concrete joys of life in her adopted hill town, with particular attention to life in the piazza, the art of Luca Signorelli (Renaissance painter from Cortona), and the pastoral pleasures of feasting from her garden. Moving always toward a deeper engagement, Mayes writes of Tuscan icons that have become for her storehouses of memory, of crucible moments from which bigger ideas emerged, and of the writing life she has enjoyed in the room where Under the Tuscan Sun began.

With more on the pleasures of life at Bramasole, the delights and challenges of living in Italy day-to-day, and favorite recipes, Every Day in Tuscany is a passionate and inviting account of the richness and complexity of Italian life.

Essentials Of Italian

Recipes And Techniques For Delicious Italian Meals

From our acclaimed Essentials cookbook series, this volume will become your complete guide to Italian cooking. Learn the age-old secrets of Italian cooks for creating simple, flavorful meals prepared with the highest-quality, freshest ingredients. The more than 130 recipes cover classic Italian dishes from every region and for every course: mouthwatering antipasti; satisfying primi, secondi and contorni; and sweet dolci. A wealth of information immerses you in the Italian kitchen, including a pasta primer, sample regional menus, Italian culinary principles, wine pairing tips and a thorough glossary.

Falling Cloudberries: A World Of Family Recipes

By Tessa Kiros

Falling Cloudberries is filled with the recipes that have weaved their way through the life of Tessa Kiros and her family, from the sweets handed out at Scottish fetes on days off from a Greek school in South Africa to the rice puddings with rosewater and cinnamon made in a shed by her Cypriot grandfather (who also had a fondness for pickling baby birds) and the gravlax with dill prepared by her Finnish mother. In this extensive, dream-like journey across the globe, recipes and narrative merge with images of food and the landscape from which it has emerged and whimsical illustrations. There are approximately 150 recipes, all of them collected and adapted by Tessa since early adulthood, or remembered and recreated from childhood. They are as diverse in style and flavour as the extended family and households through which they’ve travelled. Some are redolent of roses, cinnamon, cassia and cardamom, mint and citrus, from the Greek side of the family, others are Scandinavian in origin, sprinkled with berries or dill and spread with mustard. Chilli, garlic, oregano, cumin and red onions appear, and there are chocolate, vanilla, cream and pistachio confections from childhoods the world over. A Peruvian housekeeper makes a contribution, and a Thai soup appears, simply because Tessa couldn’t imagine her life without it. They will be grouped by region of origin, which also reflects Tessa’s travels, from London where she was born and later cooked professionally, to South Africa where she grew up, interspersed with visits to her mother’s and father’s homelands, and Italy where she now lives.

Venezia – Food & Dreams –

By Tessa Kiros

Food is a quilt that is patch worked together by people’s language, traditions and way of living. In “Venezia”, Tessa Kiros shows the magic and the charm of the famous Italian city of Venice. She embroiders the recipes of this city of canals, bridges and carnivals with her own unique colors and threads. Tessa’s previous books, “Twelve, Falling Cloudberries”, “Apples for Jam” and “Piri Piri Starfish: Portugal Found” have been published to international acclaim and have secured best-selling status in many countries throughout the world. “Falling Cloudberries” won several awards including Best Hardcover Recipe Book at the World Food Media Awards. As usual, her book features stunningly beautiful photography and design, and recipes for the whole family – a European way of eating.

Positano: The Vertical City

By Romolo Ercolino

Positano is known all over the world for its landscape’s beauty, as a sea resort, but most people ignore that a small place can be so rich in history, architecture and traditions.
This book, written by a local architect, tells of Positano’s history, beginning from the Greek and Roman origins, with rare pictures of the Roman Villa, whose ruins are situated under the Medieval Abbey of Santa Maria Assunta. American, German and Russian writers, musicians and painters discovered this little village during the Second World War and decided to live the rest of their lives there, influencing the local way of life and tourism. This book is full of images of almost every single corner of this wonderful village, hidden treasures in the Chapels of the neighborhoods, statues, paintings, maiolicas, as well as artisan factories and many fascinating narrows and paths connecting Positano with the closest villages. We highly suggest this book for those who love this wonderful land and who can appreciate not only the beauty of the landscape but also of the culture.

Garden Lover’s Guide To Italy

By Penelope Hobhouse And G. Galletti

The Garden Lover’s Guide to Italy is for everyone who enjoys visiting and touring gardens. In this compact volume, the celebrated author Penelope Hobhouse explores over 100 of the most beautiful Italian gardens, highlighting their most striking features, describing the distinctive character of each, and revealing charming aspects that will delight every garden lover. From the beautiful Villa del Balbianello at Lake Como to superb Roman villa gardens and the exotic, sub-tropical parks of Sicily, this guide reveals many of the best-kept secrets awaiting travelers in Italy.

Italy With Kids

By Barbara Pape And Michael Calabrese

An indispensable resource for family travel to Italy. Featured destinations are Rome, Venice, Pisa, Florence, Siena, hill towns of Tuscany, Naples and Amalfi Coast, Milan and Lake Region. Everything is written from the parents’ perspective: are the hotels family-friendly? Which restaurants are appropriate for kids? What are the best gelato shops in each city and town? What books should my kids read before we leave? ‘Fun Facts’ sidebars are sprinkled throughout for the kids to ponder, and great activities are planned with the kids (and parents too!) especially in mind.

Gelato: Finding Italy’s Best Gelaterias

By Michael McGarry

Gelato contains reviews of over fifty of the best gelaterias in Italy’s most visited cities. “Gelato Lore” sections explore the history and myths surrounding this long-revered treat, while “Tips & Info” sections assist readers on a variety of gelato-related matters, including how to spot a worthwhile gelateria and an explanation of the differences between gelato and ice cream. With 4-color photographs and illustrations throughout, this book is truly gelato for the eyes. Whether recommending the sublime riso (rice) gelato at Florence’s beloved Vivoli or the breathtaking view of Capri from Naples’ Bilancioni, each entry presents up-to-date information for travelers looking to optimize their gelato consumption, while enjoying an authentic Italian custom.

The Dictionary Of Italian Food And Drink

An A-To-Z Guide With 2,300 Authentic Definitions And 50 Classic Recipes

By John F. Mariani And Harriet Bell (Editor)

While in Italy, you may need to know the difference between terms like “passito” and “passato.” According to the Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, the first is a type of sweet wine, the second a puréed soup or smooth tomato sauce. Within the 2300 definitions, John Mariani includes the history of many items in this comprehensive yet concise guide. He explains the origins of popular dishes and why, for example, you won’t find Veal Parmigiano in Italy. Along with information that will help cooks in tracking down ingredients there are recipes for Spaghetti Carbonara, Pasta & Fagioli, Zuppa Inglese, and other classics. The entries for regional Italian foods make this book a useful companion for travelers, and it’s compact enough to fit in your carry-on bag.

The Italian Way

By Mario Costantino And Lawrence R. Gambella

Amazon Reader’s Review: “This slender volume reads fast. A comprehensive study of Italian culture is beyond the scope of this book. The authors have arranged 74 brief “points” about daily life in Italy, alphabetically by subject, so the reader doesn’t know what is coming next. We begin with an explanation of the Italian version of April Fool’s Day, followed by four paragraphs on table manners, and then we’re on to “attracting attention,” and so on. From the very way it’s organized, we are clearly in the realm of entertainment, although the information is accurate and certainly useful. There is a dusting of vocabulary, but it’s not a course in Italian for travellers. I found it a delightful and fascinating read.”

Suzy Gershman’s Born To Shop Italy

The Ultimate Guide For People Who Love To Shop

By Suzy Gershman

Suzy Gershman is a journalist, author, and global-shopping goddess who has worked in the fashion and fiber industry for more than 25 years leading savvy shoppers to the world’s best finds. Now Born to Shop Italy is easier to use and packed with more up-to-datelistings than ever before. It includes the best of the shopping scenes, from trendsetting boutiques in Milan and Rome to top factory outlets, colorful markets, and more; excellent values, from designer shoes and handbags to Venetian glass and lace; great gift ideas; and the best airfare, hotel, and dining values.

Wild Italy: A Traveller’s Guide

By Tim Jepson

Italy’s countryside is stunningly gorgeous, with scads of glorious mountains, ancient forests, more than 1500 lakes, miles of sandy coastline and some of the best hiking in the world. Dividing Italy into seven regions, Jepson does a remarkable job of providing all the practical information on the best areas for hiking, brief contact information for mountain hostels and campgrounds, and available activities from walking to climbing, skiing, and handgliding. While Jepson’s wonderfully descriptive passages of the landscape and wildlife are enough to make even the most city-bound traveler want to head for the hills, his guide is aimed at the practiced hiker.

Italy: Instructions for Use

The Personal, Onsite Assistant For The Enthusiastic But Inexperienced Traveler

By Nan McElroy

This concise, indepth pocket compendium addresses the inevitable howto and whatnow questions all independent travelers discover on their neverending, everconfounding search for La Dolce Vita.
If you’re not yet familiar with the energizing, if sometimes overwhelming ways of Italian daily life, you’ll have no idea what to expect until you arrive. Written by an American Italian travel consultant who speaks the language, organizes travelers’ time in Italy, and lives Italian life, this color illustrated pocket guide is packed with the most current, pertinent advice available. No matter what you destination in Italy, you’ll find complete, specific information on:

  • Indepth planning and preparing
  • Easytounderstand language pronunciation
  • Eating, drinking, ordering, tipping
  • Driving (with color road sign illustrations)
  • Phoning (local, international and cell calls)
  • Understanding Italian train system
  • Shopping, shipping, and getting your VAT refund
  • Vocabulary in context, Italian to English, and viceversa
  • Tourist information resources

As the Romans Do

The Delights, Dramas, And Daily Diversions Of Life In The Eternal City

Although it retreads ground familiar to readers of Tim Parks, this slight if enjoyable collection of essays on life in Italy provides many amusing anecdotes. Epstein is a city-lover, particularly enamored with the Eternal City, and in 1995 he moved there from California with his wife and two young sons. These pieces collect his thoughts on the quirks of Italian life, but they often pertain to Italy in general rather than Rome (and too many of them concentrate on the joys of living in a city where women “not only don’t mind that you look at them, but actually seek your gaze, your glance, your stare”). The most successful of these pieces examine the differences in the minutiae of life as experienced in Rome and in the U.S. Epstein’s thoughts on making photocopies, something that in Rome is as difficult as “trying to get into Fort Knox,” is well detailed, and the material on child-rearing (which the Italians consider both a communal responsibility and a pleasure) is sweet and poignant. Epstein often remarks that present-day Rome resembles the 1950s Philadelphia where he grew up, but he is too easily blinded to the weaknesses of both cultures. For example, in the face of growing xenophobia and violence against immigrants, he writes glowingly of how friendly Italians are to foreign vendors. Nevertheless, Epstein’s love for his adopted home is often charming.

Italy: The Best Travel Writing From The New York Times

By Umberto Eco (Foreword), Olivier Bernier (Author), Frank Bruni (Author) 

The staff at the New York Times, together with the Italian Government Tourist Board, have compiled more than 40 lucid travel articles in this lavish paean to Italy. These selections, plucked from two decades of exceptional travel writing, express the country’s unique diversity. The volume’s postcard-perfect color photos, which number close to 500, nicely complement the text, capturing everything from the snow-covered peaks of Monte Cervino and the luscious, undulating hills of Tuscany to the frescoed buildings of Trento and the vineyards of Chianti. As the brilliant Italian novelist Umberto Eco writes in his introduction, “a journey to Italy… should always be seen as a journey of discovery that will reveal not one, but many Italies.”

A Thousand Days In Venice

By Marlena De Blasi

When Fernando spots her in a Venice café and knows immediately that she is the One, Marlena de Blasi is caught off guard. A divorced American woman traveling through Italy, she thought she was satisfied with her life. Yet within a few months, she quits her job as a chef, sells her house, kisses her two grown kids good-bye, and moves to Venice. Once there, she finds herself sitting in sugar-scented pasticcerie, strolling through sixteenth-century palazzi, renovating an apartment overlooking the seductive Adriatic Sea, and preparing to wed a virtual stranger in an ancient stone church. A Thousand Days in Venice is filled with the foods and flavors of Italy and peppered with recipes and culinary observations. But the main course here is about a woman who falls in love with both a man and a city, and finally finds the home she didn’t know she was missing. A must if you have visited or are about to visit Venice!

Fodors Italy

By Fodor’s

It’s like having a friend in Italy!This Fodor’s full-color guide paints an unforgettable picture of Italy with vibrant maps, vividly illustrated features, and stunning color photos. Updated annually, it provides the most accurate and up-to-date information available in a guidebook, featuring options for a variety of budgets, interests, and tastes. Experience Italy like a local! Fodor’s Italy includes Rome, Florence, Venice, and much more! Indispensable, customized trip planning tools include “Top Reasons to Go,” “Word of Mouth” advice from other travelers, and tips to help save money, bypass lines, and avoid common travel pitfalls. Also includes a full-color pullout map.

Eyewitness Travel Italy

By DK Publishing, Francesca Machiavelli (Editor), Sophie Martin (Editor)

Italy offers an extraordinary kaleidoscope of regions and experiences for all visitors. Packed with photographs, illustrations and maps the Eyewitness Travel to Italy has mapped out all of the remarkable flavors of Italy. Use this guide to help you decide where to stay, eat, relax, and shop. Every page in the Eyewitness Travel to Italy has pinpointed the highlights of each fascinating region.

As the Romans Do

An American Family’s Italian Odyssey

A celebration of the character and style of one of the world’s most spectacular cities! This vibrant insider’s view of the most mature city on earth is the perfect companion for anyone who loves anything Italian. In 1995, after a twenty-year love affair with Italy, Alan Epstein fulfilled his dream to live in Rome. He reveals today’s Roman men and women in all their appealing contradictions: their gregarious caffe culture; inborn artistic flair; passionate appreciation of good food; instinctive mistrust of technology; showy sex appeal; ingrained charm and expressiveness; surprisingly unusual attitudes toward marriage and religion; and much, much more.