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Essential Reading List - Great Books About or Set in Italy

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I am so appreciative of the great thread on Italian movies. Now, I would like to hear about your favorite books about Italy--both fiction and nonfiction.

One of the most informative and helpful books I've read is "The Collected Traveler: Central Italy Tuscany and Umbria". It is described as "an inspired anthology and travel resource." A perfect description! This is not a guidebook, although the title might lead you to think it is. ISBN 0-609-80443-X

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King was a fascinating description of the genius, politics, physics, etc., re: the building of the Duomo's dome in Florence. An easy, short but very interesting read.

What are some of your very favorite books? (Other than guide books--there is a good thread on those already.)

I would love to read some can't-put-it-down novels that are set in Italy, about Italy, etc. The thicker the better if the story line is good.

Dog Mother

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