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.
Photo courtesy of Mo Riza .