Pasta, pizza, espresso. The boot-shaped country located at the south end of the European continent has always been, and continues to be, a hotspot for tourism and traveling due to the enchanting air and atmosphere the culture there irradiates.
Be it amazing gondola travels in Venice, wondrous exploration of renaissance art at the museums, or touring around the Roman Coliseum and the rest of some of the most astonishing monuments western civilization has to offer! Italy has something that appeals to everyone, and these books guide across the best they have to see.
#1 Italian Neighbors by Tim Parks
“Italian Neighbors” rang true in so many ways that I could not have envisioned prior to personal experience. Tim Parks is a very good storyteller and observer of people and culture. His stories and explanations of Italian ways, of “moments” as we call them in our household, brought back memories (both find and not-so).
In this deliciously seductive account of an Italian neighborhood with a statue of the Virgin at one end of the street, a derelict bottle factory at the other, and a wealth of exotic flora and fauna in between, acclaimed novelist Tim Parks celebrates ten years of living with his wife, Rita, in Verona, Italy.
#2 Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman
André Aciman is an American memoirist, essayist, and New York Times bestselling novelist originally from Alexandria, Egypt. He has also written many essays and reviews on Marcel Proust. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The New Republic, Condé Nast Traveler, The Paris Review, Granta as well as in many volumes of The Best American Essays.
#3 My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a 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.
The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow and their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other.
#4 The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani
Not enough people know that this tale of a middle-class Jewish youth’s obsession with the far more aristocratic Micol Finzi-Contini stems from a novel, not a novelization. Bassani’s doom- and tomb-ridden examination of one-sided love is far more complex–about individuals’ inability to contend with personal and political annihilation. Events call for heroism, yet it seems downright absurd that now, all of a sudden, exceptional behavior was demanded of us. The narrator writes in retrospect, 13 years after World War II’s end, and reveals the Finzi-Continis’ 1943 deportation to Germany right from the star.
#5 Rick Steves Italy 2019 by Rick Steves
It is one of the most comprehensive guidebooks on Italy I have read. There are a lot of helpful tips in this guidebook. It is available in digital and paperback form.
The recommendations of products and books within this article where sourced from industry experts. Their names and websites are listed below.