Bella Italia

Ros Belford

Includes driving routes, ideas for activities, off-the-beaten-track stops, authentically local places to eat and stay, and a pull-out map.

Chris Catling
"...features suggested walks and four one-day 'Great Day' itineraries to ensure you make the most of your trip. It comes together with clear maps, extensive hotel and restaurant listings of all price levels. From the bustling streets of Florence to the picturesque hilltop towns of Tuscany explore this beautiful region with the unique 3D models and cutaway maps. Recommendations for authentic trattorias where you can sample the local fare will ensure you have a heavenly holiday."
Anthony Doerr

"Anthony Doerr has received many awards -- from the New York Public Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Library Association. Then came the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and with it a stipend and a writing studio in Rome for a year. Doerr learned of the award the day he and his wife returned from the hospital with newborn twins.Exquisitely observed, Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr's varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats -- the chroniclers of Rome who came before him -- and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. He and his family are embraced by the butchers, grocers, and bakers of the neighborhood, whose clamor of stories and idiosyncratic child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself.This intimate and revelatory book is a celebration of Rome, a wondrous look at new parenthood, and a fascinating story of a writer's craft -- the process by which he transforms what he sees and experiences into sentences."

Paul Duncan; updated by Tim Jepson
"...25 distinctive itineraries with full color maps and photographs Highlights of scenic routes, special events, history and travelling with children Easy-to-use map at the beginning of each tour Divided into 5 regions with 3-6 tours in each which start and finish in major towns and cities considered to be the best for exploration Regions include: Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto; Liguria & Tuscany; Umbria & the Marches; Lazio, Campania, & Abruzzo; Calabria, Basilicata, & Puglia."
Susan Pohlman
"Tired, empty, and disillusioned with married life, Susan Pohlman was ready to call it quits. As soon as she and husband Tim wrap up a business trip in Italy, she planned to end their eighteen-year marriage. During their last day as they walked along the Italian Riviera, Tim fantasizes aloud that, perhaps, they could live there. Susan initially dismisses the notion as nonsense but is inexplicably overwhelmed with a desire to give the marriage another try. Defying all logic, the couple find a school for their children and sign a lease for an apartment. Maybe a life in such a charmed setting could help them find their way back to each other. Together with their children, they trade in their breakneck Los Angeles pace for adventure and a slower, more intimate lifestyle. This is the remarkable story of an ordinary American family that inspires and offers hope that all of us who find the courage to listen to our hearts and follow our dreams can experience a new beginning."
Lorenza de' Medici

None of these books leaves out mention of delicious Italian wines and foods. We'll need some snacks on our trip so why not try "crostoni of pecorino cheese and fava beans on grilled bread, or ravioli filled with squash flowers followed by grilled scampi with lemon sauce. Taste updated classics such as stracciatella alla maggiorana, Roman egg soup with fresh marjoram; or pollo arrosto al balsamico - roasted chicken sparked with balsamic vinegar. Or relax with a slice or orange cake and a glass of Vin Santo." You'll have to move to the kitchen table to enjoy this oversized book, part travel book and all yum.

Mario Batali

The host of TV Food Network's "Molto Mario" and owner of two N.Y. City eateries helps readers recreate his classic Northern Italian fare with contemporary flair.

Patricia Wells

A collection of over 150 authentic recipes that capture the flavor of the small towns and villages of Italy.

Olivia Ercoli, Ros Belford, Roberta Mitchell

A plethora of color photographs and other visuals and detailed directions and descriptions walk tourists through The Eternal City. Among the features are architecture, shopping, restaurants, piazzas, art, walks, maps, hotels, and churches.

Matthew Fort

"Replete with authentic Siclian recipes culled directly from the out of the way island stoves and cafe kitchens that cook them, Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons presents a travelogue for seasoned travelers, and lovers of all things Italian. At the age of twenty-six Matthew Fort first visited the island of Sicily. He and his brother arrived in 1973 expecting sun, sea and good food, but they were totally unprepared for the lifelong effect of this most extraordinary place. Thirty years later and a bit wiser--but no less hungry--Matthew finally returns. Travelling around the island on his scooter, Monica, he samples exquisite antipasti in rundown villages and delicate pastries in towns tumbling down vertical hillsides, and goes fishing for anchovies underneath a sky scattered with stars. Once again this enigmatic island casts its spell as Matthew rediscovers its beauty, the intensity of its flavors, and finds himself digging into the darkness of Sicily's past as well as some mysteries of his own."

Frances Mayes

In Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes brings a poet's voice, the eye of a seasoned traveler, and the discerning palate of a cook and food writer together to create an enchanting and lyrical book about the life, the traditions, and the cuisine of Tuscany. This is definitely an example of the book far exceeding the film version; indeed, the film only bears resemblance to the book by its title.

Peter Ackroyd

Explore the palazzos, churches, alleyways and canals of one of the world's most seductive and mysterious cities. British writer and historian Peter Ackroyd leads an in-depth tour of the art, architecture, music, and theater of Venice, from Tintoretto to Vivaldi, Canaletto to Carnival. Interviews with preservationists reveal the desperate efforts underway to rescue the floating city from the ravages of time and the sea. On DVD.