September 10, 2008

Reading Italy

Since reading and absolutely loving The Piazzas of Florence I have been dreaming and longing to be in another place - particularly Italy. I'm feeling a little swamped by the dramas of everyday life and work at the moment and I feel an escape (even if only a metaphorical one) is needed.

I do have a CD/Book Italian language program that I bought ages ago and have been meaning to get started on it - I just don't think my brain matter is up to that at the moment!

So, I am searching for books that will take me away to Italy.

Can anyone suggest any great fiction or non-fiction books that are set in Italy to help me on my way?


Sarah said...

I can understand wanting to escape, especially to Italy!

Fiction wise, I'd try any or all of the following:

- The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.
-Where angels fear to tread and A room with a view by E. M . Forster.
- Italo Calvino.
- Mysteries by Andrea Camilleri and Donna Leon.
- The Passion by Jeanette Winterson.

Mari said...

Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes. Old favorites. :)

Jennifer said...

Here's what I came up with:
Italian Affair by Julie Ellis
Mysteries by Michael Dibdin

Happy Reading

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Other than the Frances Mayes books and "A Room with a View," I don't come up with anything off the top of my head. Well, "The Agony and The Ecstasy" is always good.

I can say, however, that no book can compare with actually walking the streets of Florence. It's like a dream.

Iliana said...

I ditto the recommendation on the Donna Leon mysteries.

Also, I highly recommend The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim. A great comfort read about four British women who go on holiday to Italy.

Karen said...

Hi Sarah - thank you so much for all of these suggestions. Out of these I have only read A Room With A View so plenty for me to look out for!
Hi Mari - I have read Under The Tuscan Sun and really enjoyed it so I might have to search out the sequel - thanks!
Hi Jennifer - thanks for your suggestions, I haven't read either of these so I'll be on the look out for them.
Hi Holly - I'm planning that trip to Italy just as soon as I can!
Hi Iliana - The Enchanted April sounds beautiful - I will have a look for it today.
Thanks so much everyone - I feel inspired just looking at all of your suggestions.

tanabata said...

To add to the other suggestions.. The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant was pretty good. Or The Scortas' Sun by Laurent Gaudé that I read earlier this year was great. It totally transported me to southern Italy!

Karen said...

Hi Tanabata - thanks so much for these sugestions. 2 books I haven't read which I will now be on the lookout for.

Bellezza said...

Did you try the book "1,000 Days In Venice"? It's a true story, very romantic and quite lovely. Like you, my heart longs for Italy. All the time. :)

Bellezza said...

p.s. Here's the link:

Karen said...

Hi Bellezza - thanks so much for your suggestion - I will check it out. Anything to make me feel I am in Italy!