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Looking for a good book to read while you’re traveling in Italy? Check out my list of books about Italy and by Italian authors.


The Adventures of Pinocchio

Carlo Collodi
CATEGORIES: Classic/Culturally Significant

The enduring children’s classic is also the most translated non-religious book ever printed and one of the greatest works of Italian literature. Geppetto and his creation first appeared in serial form back in 1881 and became so popular that they were reprinted as a complete book two years later. Since its entry into the public domain back in 1940, numerous releases have flooded the market, with the main difference being the illustrations.



The Name of the Rose

Umberto Eco
CATEGORIES: Person/Place/Event

“Books always speak of other books, and every story tells a story that has already been told.” So says Eco in his phenomenally successful (despite its 500-plus pages) historical murder mystery, which is one of the world’s all-time bestsellers. In 1327, a Franciscan friar and his apprentice arrive at a monastery, where the murder of an illustrator causes upheaval during the Pope’s visit.



See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy

Frances Mayes
CATEGORIES: Person/Place/Event

Although better known for Under the Tuscan Sun, which was made into a movie starring Diane Lane, Mayes is as good a virtual tour guide as she is a rom-com novelist. In See You in the Piazza, she and her husband have the arduous job of traveling to 13 regions of Italy and introducing them to you lucky readers. The New York Times called reading it “a vacation in itself.”



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