Whether you’re in the midst of planning your dream Italian getaway or you feel naturally drawn to the region, Italy is certain to have a permanent hold on your heart and your mind. Here are Homebase Abroad’s top picks for the best books to keep the flavors of Italian cuisine, colorful history, and children’s memories alive with the elan of Italia.

Eye Candy:

From the striped umbrellas of the Amalfi coast to the sun-drenched vineyards of Tuscany. Italy is full of striking landscapes and unbelievable architecture, these gorgeous art and coffee table books will be your daily reminder of why Italy should be on the top of your travel bucket list.

Private Tuscany by Elizabeth Helman (Author) and Simon McBride (Photographer)

The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany by James Bentley, Hugh Palmer

Villas of the Lakes by Elizabeth Minchilli

Italian Splendor, Castles, Palaces and Villas by Jack Basehart, Roberto Schezen (Photographer), Ralph Toledano (Contributor)

Great Escapes Italy by Christiane Reiter

Slim Aarons: La Dolce Vita by Slim Aarons

In the Spirit of Capri by Pamela Fiori

Inside Venice: A Private View of the City’s Most Beautiful Interiors by Toto Bergamo Rossi

La Foce: A Garden and Landscape in Tuscany by Benedetta Origo 

Amalfi: Italy’s Divine Coast by Assunta Cuozzo (Author),‎ Bonavoglia Rosario (Photographer)

Classic Escapes: Italy by Christiane Reiter

Taste of Italy:

Pizza, pasta, pesto, pinot… whatever it is, cuisine is at the heart of Italian culture. There is nothing like true Italian cooking. These cookbooks will keep the flavours of Italy with you all year long.

Beaneaters and Bread Soup: Portraits and Recipes from Tuscany by Lori DeMori

Amalfi Coast Recipes by Amanda Tabberer

Italy for the Gourmet Traveler by Fred Plotkin

Two Kitchens: Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome by Andre Simon and Guild of Food Writers’ Awards

Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City by Elizabeth Minchilli

The Silver Spoon for Children: Favorite Italian Recipes by Editors of Phaidon Press


These fiction books will transport you back to the cobblestoned streets of Rome or the cliffside villas of Positano.

Marchesa of Val d’Orcia by Caroline Moorehead

War in Val d’Orcia by Iris Origo

Merchant of Prato by Iris Origo

Italy in Mind: An Anthology Paperback by Alice Leccese Powers (Editor)

La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language by Dianne Hales

For the kids:

Whether it’s a classic Italian tale or simply getting younger ones acquainted with a new culture and new sights, these bedtime appropriate books will get kids excited about an upcoming trip or help preserve cherished memories of a trip past.

This is Rome: A Children’s Classic by Miroslav Sasek

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

Know your facts:

Everything in Italy has a history as colorful as the surrounding scenery. History buffs and fact fans alike will enjoy these informative books to fully understand the magic of what’s around them.

La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind Paperback by Beppe Severgnini (Author)

The Renaissance: A Short History by Paul Johnson

Pompeii, The Day a City Died by Robert Etienne

Venice, Lion City by Garry Wills

The World of Venice by Jan Morris

The Italians by Luigi Barzini

The Garden of the Finzi Contini by Giorgio Bassani

Brunelleschi’s Dome: How A Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture, by Ross King

Like a local:

While nothing can replace a true local as the best guide, these guidebooks will help you build your dream itinerary for a trip ahead.

Henry Holt Walks Series: FlorencewalksRomewalksVenicewalks (different authors)

Eyewitness Travel Guides; there are several editions, we recommend Rome, Florence & Tuscany, Naples & the Amalfi Coast, Umbria

City Secrets Florence, Venice By Robert Kahn

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