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italy reads blog

Collette Reads, Vol. 4: Italy Edition

LizDeslauriers
by Liz Deslauriers

May 17, 2022

3 minute read

In our fourth edition of Collette Reads, we’re reviewing everything from fiction to cookbooks to bring Italy’s sweet life to your bookshelf. Whether you’re thumbing through pages to get even more excited about your upcoming tour of Italy or just starting to dream it up, we hope these picks from the staff at Collette will help transport you and make Italy feel so close you can almost taste it.

 

Cookbooks

To channel your cravings beyond just the cuisine of Italy, try reading about and cooking up a travel-themed meal of fresh Italian recipes. Food that invokes a sense of place lets you travel in a different way – straight from your kitchen to that little bistro table in a piazza somewhere.

 

“For Italy, I love any cookbooks as they give a great insight to Italian Life – for example Jamie’s Italy and Gino D’Acampo.” – Patricia G.

 

Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver

 

Gino’s Italian Escape by Gino D’Acampo (or your pick from D’Acampo’s many titles)

 

 

Nonfiction Travel Books

Travel writers sometimes reveal as much about the places they visit as they do the human experience of finding themselves there. As a reader, you’re invited to be part voyeur to their journey and part introspective traveler considering what assumptions, biases and unique world view you take with you in your travels.

 

“I happen to be a bit of a fan of the travel writer Paul Theroux… This isn’t a guidebook, or a reference material, rather the thoughts of a visitor experiencing the destination through their own lens. It has many accounts of personal interaction with people, for those that like the sociological aspects of travel as much as the sights.” – Kristopher O.

 

The Pillars of Hercules: A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean by Paul Theroux

Although not specifically about Italy, this interesting travelogue by Theroux spans the entire rim of the Mediterranean broken into chapters, including “The Ferry Torres to Sicily.”

 

Another recommendation:

The Italians by Luigi Barzini

Consider this account of Italy’s people written by a countryman before you go see for yourself.

 

 

Novels

A story’s setting is a character itself. Italy’s vibrant traditions and people as well as the innate romance of its landscapes and history make for a place that’s so much more than just where the story happens. Here are a few staff picks set in Italy:

 

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway

Consider a reread of this American classic set in Italy during the First World War.

 

The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irvine Stone

Imagine the life of Michelangelo in reading this classic biographical novel.

 

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

Read it or watch the popular film (or do both). Wouldn’t you like to buy an old villa on a whim? If you’re a fan, it’s also worth checking out other works from Mayes set in Italy.

 

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

We’d be remiss not to mention Dan Brown’s mystery-thriller. Let Mr. Langdon to be one of your guides around Rome.

 

Happy reading, travelers!

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