BooksHere are the travel books we packed before leaving.
- The Blue Guide to Northern Italy
- The Blue Guide to Florence
Thie venerable British series is excellent for detail about historical and cultural matters. The guides also have useful maps, including floor plans for many museums.
- Bantam Guide to Italy
Less detailed than the Blue Guides but more useful for a quick overview; written from an American perspective and directed at the somewhat sophisticated traveller. An excellent companion volume to Blue.
- Michelin Red Guide
Lists hotels and restaurants in various price ranges; updated annually.
(We brought this on the advice of Keith’s VP at Atex, who had just returned from a 3-year posting to Europe. It is indispensable if you are travelling without reservations.)
- The Simon & Schuster Pocket Guide to Italian Wines by Burton Anderson
This slim volume has maps of the various vinicultural regions. Many of the important wine-growing towns are too small to show up on the ordinary maps available in this country.
- Italian Days by Barbara Grizutti Harrison
This delightful book is a blend of autobiography, travel, food, and cultural exploration in the mold of M. F. K. Fisher or Elizabeth David. Harrison’s account centers on an extended stay in Italy in 1985, but ranges over 25 years of travels there. We used it for deep background, reading the book on the plane and in odd moments while travelling. Italian Days is out in paperback now, but we toted the hardback around Italy and never begrudged its weight.