Hoping to find the best books set in Italy? You’re in the right place!
Italy is a country where I have spent quite a bit of time, traveling to Rome, Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Ischia, Florence, Siena, Milan, Lake Como, Cinque Terre, and Venice. And there’s still so much to see!
You could spend years in Italy and still not take it all in.
These books will transport you straight to Italy and have you planning your next trip ASAP. If you’ve been daydreaming about an Italian summer on the coast or getting lost in the winding canals of Venice, these books will satisfy your wanderlust.
I recently got back from spending five weeks traveling in Italy with two of my friends, which inspired me to put this list of books set in Italy together for you.
Below you will find a mix of books in all different genres, including nonfiction and fiction. Here are the best books set in Italy that will make you feel like you’re there:
Related: 20 Mesmerizing Books Set in Venice
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Novels and Fiction Set in Italy
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Half of this book is set in 1962 on the Ligurian Coast of Italy in a Cinque Terre town, while the other half is set in modern-day Hollywood.
This story spanning over fifty years chronicles an almost-love affair that began one summer on the coast in Italy.
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
This fast-paced thriller delivers nonstop action and intrigue as it follows world-renowned Harvard researcher Robert Langdon on a high-stakes mission.
He must uncover Illuminati secrets in Rome and stop a ticking time bomb in the Vatican City before time runs out.
That Month in Tuscany by Inglath Cooper
This women’s fiction novel follows Lizzie, a woman whose husband stood her up for an anniversary trip, and Ren, a famous musician with a secret.
Through chance, the two end up together, and while it seems like they have nothing in common at first, they end up exploring Florence and Tuscany together and helping each other heal.
The Tuscan Secret by Angela Petch
If you’re looking for a historic fiction novel set in Italy, this one delivers. Set during World War II, it unravels the mystery of an Italian woman who abandoned her home when the Nazis invaded in order to join the Resistance and fell in love with a British soldier.
Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
Set in glittering and mysterious Venice, this crime novel follows a detective determined to solve the intriguing case of a poisoned conductor at Venice’s La Fenice opera house.
Oil and Marble by Stephanie Storey
This historical fiction novel brings to life 16th century Florence during the Renaissance, one of the most extraordinary times in human history. It tells the story of the almost-forgotten rivalry between two of the brightest minds of the Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes
Written by the author of the bestselling memoir Under the Tuscan Sun, this fictional book tells the story of four American women who form an unlikely friendship while living in Tuscany.
The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt
This fictionalized tale inspired by real events in Venice dives deep into the magic, mystery, and decadence of Italy’s City of Masks. It follows the events of the city after a fire completely destroyed the famous La Fenice opera house in 1996 under mysterious circumstances.
The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen
This enthralling historical fiction novel set in Venice during World War II follows an American art teacher and her star-crossed romance with an Italian noble.
The Secret Messenger by Mandy Robotham
Another historical fiction book set in Venice during World War II, The Secret Messenger is the daring story of an Italian woman living a double life: working as a typist for the Nazis in occupied Venice by day but risking her life as an operative for the Italian Resistance by night.
Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
Set partially on the island of Capri and partially in New York, this is a contemporary romance novel between an unlikely couple kept apart by culture, set against a decadent backdrop.
Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
This book, which has been adapted into an extremely popular movie, follows the relationship that develops between a teenage boy and his family’s houseguest one summer at their home on the Italian Riviera. It explores themes of obsession, fascination, and desire.
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
One of Shakespeare’s most famous and accessible plays, Romeo and Juliet still appeals to modern audiences. Set in medieval Verona, Italy it follows the tragic story of two star-crossed lovers.
A Postcard from Italy by Alex Brown
If you’re looking for a heart-warming romance novel set in Italy, this is a great one to pick up. It follows a woman searching for love and answers to old secrets on the Italian Riviera.
The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner
Imbued with magical realism, this sweeping saga follows four generations of the Esposito family who lives on a small, enchanting island off the coast of Sicily.
The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen
From New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen, this historical fiction novel spans decades, following the daughter of a British bomber pilot who crash-landed in Tuscany during World War II and fell in love with an Italian woman.
Now, years later, Joanna is trying to unravel her father’s secrets and embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany.
These Tangled Vines by Julianne MacLean
Fiona is the product of an affair and is shocked to learn that her Italian biological father has died, leaving her with an unexpected inheritance and two half-siblings in Tuscany.
Non-Fiction Books About Italy
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
This bestselling memoir follows a woman on a journey of self-discovery as she travels the world.
While only the “Eat” section is set in Italy (the next two sections are set in India and Bali) this is still a quintessential travel story that paints a vivid picture of Italy and its food culture.
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Another beloved memoir and A New York Times Bestseller, Under the Tuscan Sun, is a captivating tale of an American woman who moves to Italy to restore an abandoned villa in the Tuscan countryside.
Under the Tuscan Sun is a beautifully written memoir about taking chances, living in Italy, and the cuisine of Tuscany.
From Scratch by Tembi Locke
This New York Times bestseller is a heart-warming memoir written by an American actress who falls in love with a Sicilian chef.
Initially ostracized by his family due to her race and nationality, the couple moved to LA where they adopted a daughter. But after tragedy strikes and takes her husband, Tembi ends up back in Sicily where she finds a new meaning of family and love.
From Scratch is for anyone who has dared to reach for big love, fought for what mattered most, and those who needed a powerful reminder that life is…delicious.
A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena di Blasi
This memoir follows an American chef and her Italian husband who move to Tuscany to renovate a ramshackle farmhouse. They befriend an eccentric local “chieftain” in their village who takes them deeper into the culture, traditions, and cuisine of Tuscany.
A Thousand Days in Tuscany is as satisfying as it is enticing, with the author’s own recipes included.
Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
In this memoir, actor Stanley Tucci recounts his childhood growing up in an Italian-American family, with a specific emphasis on the food that defined his years.
Each morsel of this gastronomic journey is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.
Young Adult Books Set in Italy
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Perfect for young adult readers, Love & Gelato follows a teenage girl whose trip to spend summer with her father in Tuscany leads to romance, adventure, and mystery.
What Are Your Favorite Books Set In Italy?
Have you read any of these books set in Italy? Do you have any favorite books set in Italy that I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!
Start with this list of the very best travel adventure books. It includes great reads that will fuel your wanderlust and have you staying up late to finish them. You should also check out the following series of book lists set in European destinations:
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