Hurrah, booked my Easter holiday and we are off to Venice, Verona and Bologna. Have never been to Bologna before but I absolutely love Venice and Verona. While I am on holiday I always like to read books which are set in that country so any recommendations of good books set in Italy would be useful. These are some of the great books about Italy that I have read, they are more or less of order of brilliance;
1. City of Falling Angels – John Berendt. This book is amazing, a really interesting non fiction account of Berendt’s arrival in Venice three days after the Fenice Opera house burns down. He gives fascinating accounts of the city and its people, it is a must read for anyone going to Venice.
2. A Room with a View – EM Forster – amazing, made me want to go on a romantic honeymoon there, unfortunately haven’t met anyone romantic to go with! Also Where Angels Fear to Tread, was great but might be a bit of a downer as a holiday read.
3. The Enchanted April – Elizabeth von Arnim. This book is absolutely brilliant. It is the story of four completely different English women in the 1920s who go to stay in a secuded beautiful castle in Italy. All are disillusioned in some way be it an unhappy marriage or disappointment in love, but they find themselves being transformed by Italy itself. The BBC drama on youtube is fantastic to watch too.
4. Miss Garnet’s Angel – Sally Vickers, I have already read this twice and enjoyed it much more the second time.
5. Dont Look Now – Daphne Du Maurier, if I want to end up completely terrified whilst in Venice.
6. Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco, interesting little mystery and not as highbrow as all his other books.
7. Sarah Dunnant – Birth of Venus and In the Company of the Courtesan. Set in 16th century Florence and Venice respectively, good page turners but I was disappointed with her last novel.