If you’re anything like me, you LOVE Italy or at least Italy is tops on your bucket list! And Italy travel books can cure that deep desire to see Italy when you can’t be there…
We’ve been blessed to visit Italy three times, and I love it so much that I want to see every inch of that country. God truly blessed Italy, as it is phenomenally beautiful from its northern lakes region to the hills of Tuscany to its fantastic Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre regions.
Oh, and did I mention the food? I could easily eat my way through Italy every year, enjoying the fantastic cuisine and wine (and I’m sure gaining about 20 pounds, as well ;-0).
But, Italy is off the table right now for everyone. My prayers go out to all those who are suffering in this wonderful country for healing, health and an end to this difficult time…
In the meantime, here are some of my favorite Italy travel books, both fiction and nonfiction, that will whet your appetite for future travel to Italy and make you feel like you are there in spirit if you can’t be there in person.
5 Italy Travel Books to Cure Your Wanderlust
Please note, the links to the books take you to Amazon where you can order them online and have them delivered direct to your door. These are affiliate links for which we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking through to support our free content. Thanks for using our links!
1. “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes, Amazon, $10.99
This is the quintessential book for cultivating in you a deep desire to see Italy. I remember reading it many, many years ago and hoping that one day I’d be able to see Tuscany. Thanks to the gift of discovering how to fly using miles, I was able to take my whole family there!
This tells the true story of one woman’s quest to find and then update a farmhouse in a Tuscan hill town, and it’s mixed with dashes of her favorite Italian foods and recipes.
It truly makes you feel as if the warm Tuscan sun is beating down on you and that you are indulging in warm bread dipped in olive oil while sipping Tuscan red wine.
I’ve read this one several times, and writing about it here, makes me want to open it again.
PS Don’t watch the movie (it’s super cheesy, in my opinion); the book is MUCH better!
2. “See You in the Piazza” by Frances Mayes, Amazon, ~$12
This is the latest tome from Frances Mayes, published in 2019, and is a longer read that takes the reader along as she, her husband and grandson venture to many out-of-the-way towns all throughout Italy.
She goes into detail about the wonders, the food, the sites and the history and culture of each place in a way that is like savoring every bite of a delicious Italian dish.
3. “A Portrait of Emily Price” by Katherine Reay, Amazon, $5.50 (paperback)
Fiction readers will love this story about an artist who moves with her fiance to Italy, learning to appreciate the Italian culture and life and find her way into the rhythms of life in this new country.
It’s a quick read, VERY affordable at $5 and I loved it!
4. “One Summer Day in Rome” by Mark Lamprell, Amazon, $15.99
This is another novel that takes place in Rome and grants fantastic detail of the city. It was after reading this book that I decided Rome was definitely the next place we needed to go. Check out my post on [50 magical things to do in Rome], which I wrote after that trip!
Rome is absolutely enchanting and unlike any city in the world. It pulses with life, and this book tells the stories of three different couples in the Eternal City with Rome, itself, a lead character.
The back of the book describes it as “Love Actually” meets “Roman Holiday,” which I think is a pretty apt description.
5. “Return to Glow: A Pilgrimage of Transformation in Italy” by Chandi Wyant, Amazon, $14
Another nonfiction read, this interesting firsthand account tells of the author’s journey along La Via Francigena, which is Italy’s version of El Camino.
La Via Francigena is an ancient Christian pilgrimage route that runs from Canterbury to Rome (and then the Christians would go to the Holy Land from there), literally ending in Vatican Square.
Wyant tells of her journey to rediscover who she is by walking this route, which is MUCH less populated than El Camino, overcoming many obstacles along the way.
You can also find her on the Paradise of Exiles blog where she shares her adventures after moving to Italy first to Lucca and then to her true love, Florence.
And if you like ancient history, try 10 Top Italy Sites: Amazing Ancient Ruins to Explore
What are your favorite Italy travel books? Please share your recommendations in the comments below!