Books to transport you to Italy

Is there a place in the world where you feel completely at home? Or a place that you have been dreaming about throughout lockdown?

For me it’s Italy.

The winding streets, the terracotta buildings, the glittering sea and the blue skies. Spending evenings sipping wine and eating antipasti as the heat fades from the day. 

And whilst it will be a while until I can have that feeling again I have some book suggestions which will whisk you away to Italy.

This post was inspired by my reading two fantastic but very different novels set in Italy. Now before I begin I have to confess that Italy is my favourite place in the world. There is something about it which just soothes me, seeps into my pores like sunshine, warming and welcoming. There is the sense that you have space to breathe, to be inspired.  

Well these books have all brought me that same feeling. 

The first book is Diary of a Film by Niven Govinden. The story of a director preparing for the premiere of the film he believes will be his masterpiece. The story winds its way through abandoned warehouses, sun soaked streets and the glamour of a film festival. 

A story of love, sexuality and artistry. 

Still Life by Sarah Winman is easily one of my top five reads this year. This whimsical tale of the family we make, the lives we build and an ode of the beauty of Florence.

And a frankly fantastic parrot. 

A Room With A Review by E. M. Forster is a classic which sees a young woman falling in love in Italy, fighting against the restrictions of Edwardian England and again a love letter to Florence. Part romance and part critique on society. 

Next up a nonfiction choice, Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert. And I know that this might be one that you have written off as chick-lit, but it’s an uplifting read about discovering yourself and eating lots of pasta. 

My next read set in Italy isMy Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. This is the opening novel of Ferrante’s acclaimed Neapolitan Quartet. This is the story of two best friends as they journey into adulthood in post-war Naples. 

Do you have any more suggestions for books set in Italy?

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