The dreary weather of late February might have you wishing for warm sun and delicious food. So why not escape to Italy—in a book, anyway? These readings will let you vicariously own a gorgeous villa, relax in the Tuscan countryside, and explore Venice. Pair them with some yummy Italian-inspired recipes and say “ciao!” to your everyday routine.
On Your Kindle
Bella Tuscany, by Frances Mayes
Mayes is famous for her first book about Italy, Under the Tuscan Sun, which describes her and her husband’s renovation of a centuries-old villa in Cortona, Bramasole. In this follow-up, Mayes describes her life in the region, as well as travels to other parts of Italy. If you’re longing for a relaxing vacation, Mayes’ writing will transport you to you the beautiful landscapes of Tuscany, Venice, and Sicily.
On Your Smartphone
Fans of British chef Nigella Lawson know that she’s a fan of Italian cooking—as well as quick recipes for busy people. Luckily, she has just written a cookbook, Nigellissima, that combines her easy approach with Italian flavors. Find recipes on her website, where you can download a behind-the-scenes app and whip up one of her easy pastas or a luscious dessert.
On a Podcast
Looking for the right Italian wine to pair with your favorite dish? Wine culture can be a little intimidating—the names, appellations, and categories are endless—but the podcast “Wine for Normal People” is designed to help you overcome your fear of buying a bad wine. This episode, focused on helping you understand Italian wines, teaches you what you need to know about the world’s second-largest wine producer.
The City of Falling Angels, by John Berendt
John Berendt is famous for his exploration of Savannah, Georgia in the bestseller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. His next book, however, leaves the South behind for the mystery of Venice, a floating city with a rich and complex past. With Berendt as your guide, discover the true story behind the city’s opera house, which burned in 1996.