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Books set in Italy for Italian holiday pleeease?

(36 Posts)
RoobyMurray Tue 12-Apr-11 17:59:25

I do like to read books set in the country I'm holidaying in, and this time it's Italy <excited>

I've done, erm Death in Venice? Or is that a bit grim for poolside?

Can anyone suggest anything please?

Francagoestohollywood Tue 12-Apr-11 18:04:26

Death in Venice is a bit grim for the poolside.

How about Elizabeht Von Armin's "The Enchanted April"?

Insomnia11 Tue 12-Apr-11 18:08:29

Here are some I enjoyed, I love Venice, have been twice.

Susannah Clarke: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Salley Vickers: Miss Garnet's Angel

Erica Jong: Serenissima - A novel of Venice

A kids book, but lovely, with a Venetian flavour is "The Glass Heart...A tale of three princesses" by Sally Gardner

Also for non-fiction, bit of historical background etc before you go Francesco Da Mosto's Venice is brilliant. Also you might still be able to get his TV series on DVD. He did a very good round Italy one later too. He's from an old Venetian family.

Francagoestohollywood Tue 12-Apr-11 18:10:34

have a look here!

TheCowardlyLion Tue 12-Apr-11 18:11:54

The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis.

If you google 'books set in Italy' you get lists like this

Francagoestohollywood Tue 12-Apr-11 18:13:34

How about Umberto Eco "The name of the rose"
Giorgio Bassani "The garden of the Finzi Contini"
Giovanni da Lampedusa "The Leopard"

castlesintheair Tue 12-Apr-11 18:14:24

The Savage Garden by Mark Mills

RoobyMurray Tue 12-Apr-11 18:26:07

Great, thanks everyone! I'll have a mooch.

BTW, I did google, but I was a bit overwhelmed so though I would asked some people I know will have excellent taste wink

porcamiseria Tue 12-Apr-11 22:19:26


extra virgin, annie hawes
a valley in italy, lisa st aubin de teran

have read them ALL and these are my faves

MmeSurvivedLent Tue 12-Apr-11 22:23:12

I was just going to suggest Annie Hawes, Porcamisera. Is that where you have your name from? It always reminds me of that book.

CristinaTheAstonishing Tue 12-Apr-11 22:25:36

If you like crime books Gianrico Carofiglio or Niccolo Ammaniti

thaigreencurry Tue 12-Apr-11 22:28:18

For a lighthearted read try The Perfect Lie by Emily Barr. She is fantastic at combining travel writing/chick lit/suspense. Set in Venice


squix Tue 12-Apr-11 22:33:08

Second The Savage Garden, read it by the pool in Italy a few years ago. I also quite liked 'Last Train From Liguria' by Christina Dwyer Hickey.

If you like easy to read detective series then there are quite a few - Donna Leon, Michele Ferara and a few others.

Maud2011 Wed 13-Apr-11 09:26:57

A Favourite of the Gods by Sybille Bedford - largely though not entirely set in Italy as far as I remember... it's about 20 years since I read - and loved - it!

Bucharest Wed 13-Apr-11 09:45:43

Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun is lovely.

Be careful of foreign-woman-goes-to-tread-grapes-with-friendly-locals genre though. Most are dire (and always have me chuntering that I could do better myself grin)

Tim Parks Italian Neighbours/An Italian Education are both quite good.

I've just bought The Dark Heart of Italy which is definitely not rose-tinted!

RoobyMurray Wed 13-Apr-11 10:32:42

ooh, great thanks for these! I'm going to have an excess luggage ishoo at this rate smile maybe I'll have to kindle a few.

I'm not so keen on soppy or crime, but neither do I want Very Serious...

trots of back to Amazon

NicknameTaken Thu 14-Apr-11 12:45:43

Tuscany for Beginners - very funny.

horseyrider Fri 15-Apr-11 19:59:35

I know this is a classic but try "Romola" by Elisabeth Gaskell - beautiful!

sethstarkaddersmackerel Fri 15-Apr-11 20:02:05

isn't Romola by George Eliot?
(not that I have read it)

londonartemis Sat 16-Apr-11 14:19:27

Check out Nicky Pellegrino - of Italian origin, sets her books in Italy. Light read, good for holidays.

NettoSuperstar Sat 16-Apr-11 14:24:03

Non fiction, but Peter Moore's 'Vroom with a View', and 'Vroom by the Sea' are very good.
He's a very funny travel writer.

Ruthie32 Mon 18-Apr-11 20:31:51

Try 'Eat Pray Love', the first third is based in Rome, the second in India and the third in Bali

sonearsofar Mon 18-Apr-11 22:21:15

'I'm not Scared' by Niccolo Ammaniti is a good read - I tell you what it's about as that would spoil it.

trumpton Mon 18-Apr-11 23:19:57

More Lives Than One by Libby Purves. Good story and well written with a twist in it.

sparkle1977 Thu 21-Apr-11 16:34:35

I'm currently reading a book by Louise Candlish called "Other People's Secrets" which is fab plus its set in Italy and is based around two families that are holidaying there.

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