Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!
We are continuing the Around the World in 80 Books theme this week on Six For Sunday by creating lists focused on books set ‘elsewhere in the world’ to the place that we live. I have a massive case of ‘pandemic wanderlust’ at the moment and due to lots of things popping up in daily life and giving me holiday flashbacks, I decided to focus my list this week on one country in particular… Italy! My friend and I travelled through Italy (quite a few years ago now) and we stopped off at lots of different places between Venice, Milan, Florence and Rome. It was the most incredible holiday and I hope I get to go back and spend more time there one day, it really is a beautiful country.
For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. March’s theme is ‘Around the World in 80 Books!’ (which sounds like some exciting travel adventure I’d definitely be signing up for!).
Books Set in Italy!
- The Favour by Laura Vaughan
This is the most recent book I have read set in Italy. It came out earlier this month and features a highly complex unreliable narrator called Ada who goes on an art-history travel adventure in Italy (definitely reminded me of my own trip!). I loved Laura’s description of the palazzos, museums and cities coupled with the dark, mysterious nature of the plot. It kept me guessing all of the way to the final sentence and that ending really did pack a punch and leave my brain spinning! You can check out my spoiler-free review here!
- Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
The Robert Langdon books are one of my favourite guilty pleasures. I’ve read them all and
secretlybelieve that the conspiracies 100% factual. The Angels and Demons book is probably my favourite due to the setting and the whole idea of the treasure map across Rome. When we visited Italy I just had to retrace Langdon’s footsteps and visit all of the fountains and landmarks just to put the book’s description into reality. Bernini had also been one of my focuses in one of my degree modules as well so I definitely enjoyed geeking out on that adventure. Sadly, we didn’t find the pentagram and hidden passage inside Castel Sant’Angelo but we still enjoyed checking it out… just in case!
- Summer at the Lake by Erica James
After our Italian escapades, my friend practically demanded that our next holiday would be a beach one (as opposed to literally running around different cities trying to pack as much in as possible!) so we went off to Cape Verde which brought some more fantastic ‘memory-of-a-lifetime-style’ adventures. I had packed 5 books in my bag, yet I found Summer of the Lake in one of the bookshelves in the hotel lobby – being set in Italy, and having a slight case of the bookish-kleptomania, it made its way into my bag and I read it whilst sat on the divine sandy beaches. I completely fell in love with Erica’s characters and how the setting of Lake Como fitted seamlessly into the narrative. It’s definitely one of my favourites!
- The Savage Garden by Mark Mills
It seems that all of my Italian books have a holiday-themed story related to them but I found The Savage Garden in an English bookshop whilst visiting my friend in Lanzarote. I bought it because of the setting of the Italian garden and the way they blurb had mentioned this secret message hidden in the garden’s architecture and design – almost like some kind of horticultural treasure hunt! I enjoyed the mythological aspect to the garden statues and the way they were incorporated to the whole mystery element of the story. It’s definitely different to any other mysteries I’ve read. You can check out a little bit more in my review here.
- The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen
The Immortal City is the first book in a series called ‘The Magicians of Venice’. It’s centred around a character called Penelope who is trying to find the lost city of Atlantis but gets entangled in a murder mystery with some rather peculiar symbology. Her journey then intertwines with a group of immortal magicians (hence the title of the series) and they embark upon a quest to solve the mystery and save Venice from sinking at the same time. Obviously the setting was a winner for me but I was also completely engrossed in the storyline and the relationship between Penelope and Alexis (spoiler warning: it got a little steamy 😉). The second book in the series was released in September 2020 and it’s definitely on my TBR list! Check out my review here.
- Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
This was a super-cute, fun YA novel which I truly enjoyed reading. I enjoyed seeing Lina experience life in Florence (my retirement dream!) for the first time and again it threw me straight back into that amazing holiday nostalgia. It was a really sweet novel about finding yourself and the importance of family/home.
There’s my little fictional jaunt through Northern Italy. If anyone has some Italian based recommendations I’d be glad to hear them, I’m always on the lookout!
What country or destination has you flipping the auto-buy switch in your brain? What are some of your favourite countries or places that you’ve been to or are on your travel bucket-list?
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!