Courtesy of my recent trip back from Tuscany, I’m going though an “Italian phase” watching old episodes of Montabalno and devouring novels set in Italy.
There’s the obvious ones like Room with a View, Angels and Demons and Eat, Prey, Love. But once you’ve read them what other juicy reads are there?
Here’s a List of recommended novels (all written in English) set in Italy, some of which I’ve read and the rest are top of my reading list.
Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire – The historical fantasy fiction set in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy is the dramatic retelling of Snow White. Seven-year-old Bianca de Nevada lives high above the rolling hills and valleys of Tuscany and Umbria, she has grown up isolated on her father’s estate, When Bianca is young her father finds a large mirror sunk in the lake on their property. Soon after their estate is descended upon by the Borgias, who, under the guise of hospitality, use their power and influence to change the lives of the de Nevadas.
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant– Set in renaissance Florence this fictional memoir follows the life of a young Florentine woman called Alessandra Cecchi. The story of love, art, religion, and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra weaves in and out of historical information about Florence and artists of the time.
The Food Of Love by Anthony Capella -Romantic novel set in Rome, same old story guy likes girl, girl likes other guy, which one will she pick? The classic comedy of errors begins, full of culinary magic and the sensual atmosphere of Italy, mixed with Love, food, comedy its well worth a read if you looking for some Italian romance.
Casa Rossa by Francesca Marciano – Three generations of Puglia women, A grandmother who left her husband and fled to Nazi Germany, The daughter who lived in Rome and her daughters slowly grow apart. This novel captures the passion of Southern Italy and family politics. Not my usual style of book but very enjoyable.
Juilet by Anne Fortier – After the death of her beloved aunt, Julie Jacobs is simply left a key to a safety deposit box in Siena while her sister is left with her aunts entire estate. This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever, a journey into the troubled past of her ancestors and the history of Italy, where she discovers that her own fate is tied to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.
What’s your top title set in Italy?