Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World: Italy

Our library theme for 2020 is Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World–because with the library, you truly can travel around the world without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Every month in 2020, we’ll be landing at a new place on the globe. In September, we’re in Italy.

If you enjoy family sagas:

Catherine Banner’s The House at the Edge of Night (2016)

Set on a fictional island off the coast of Italy, this story of the Esposito family and the bar they run spans from the early 1900s well into the 2000s. The book covers generations of this family, starting with the founder of the bar, Amadeo Esposito, and includes the other residents of the town as they live through world wars, the rise of fascism, and other historical events.

Recommended for those who enjoy the works of Isabel Allende.

If you prefer historical romance:

Sara Alexander’s Under a Sardinian Sky (2017)

Mina has long been intrigued by why her close-knit Sardinian family is so tight-lipped about her aunt Carmela, who disappeared decades ago and is now only spoken of reluctantly. When Mina’s mother develops a life-threatening illness, Mina decides it’s time to delve into what happened to Carmela, and she soon uncovers a story of forbidden love in 1950s Sardinia.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Kate Quinn.

If you’d rather read modern romances:

Kate Eberlen’s Miss You (2016)

This book is not primarily set in Italy, but it does start there! British teens Tess and Gus meet briefly on vacation in Italy. Over the years, they keep having chance encounters with each other but being pulled apart by circumstances beyond their control. Complications ensue.

Recommended for those who enjoy works by Cecelia Ahern, David Nicholls, and Rosie Walsh.

If you love mysteries:

Mario Giordano’s Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions (2015)

Poldi is a German woman who decides to retire to her late husband’s native Sicily. She’s planning on a boozy, lazy retirement, but things change when her handyman is found murdered. She starts asking questions, meets a handsome detective, and is well on her way to becoming an amateur sleuth. This breezy book is the first in a series.

Recommended for those who enjoy the works of Alexander McCall Smith.

If you want nonfiction:

Dianne Hales’s Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered (2014)

We all know Mona Lisa’s face, but what do we know about the woman behind the face? Journalist Dianne Hales set out to answer this question, and the resulting book documents her research on the subject. She combed through archives looking for documentation about Mona Lisa, studied the lives of everyday women during the Renaissance, and even met some of Mona Lisa’s descendants. The book is not a straight biography–it’s more of a blend of memoir and biography.

Recommended for those who enjoy nonfiction about art history and the research process.

Other books previously reviewed that are set in Italy include Benet Brandreth’s The Spy of Venice and Stephanie Storey’s excellent Oil and Marble about the rivalry between Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.

Next week, I’ll be reviewing another book with an Italian setting that a fellow book blogger recommended. I promise it is not about Cats. 🙂 Stay tuned!

What’s your favorite book set in Italy? Who’s your favorite Italian author? Have you ever been to Italy? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.

Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

8 thoughts on “Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World: Italy”

  1. I LOVE Italy! I traveled to Italy in 2019 and have since been enamored with the culture. One of my favorite books, partially set in Italy, is a contemporary romance by Katherine Reay: A Portrait of Emily Price. I’m adding some of these to my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Rome, Florence, a tiny town called Spoleto, and a day trip each to Venice and Pompeii. Florence was my favorite! The food was AMAZING.

        Liked by 1 person

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