Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Italy

Welcome to another episode of Flyaway Friday edition and we are visiting Italy this week through the best mode of transportation available – through books. I hope you did prepare yourself for the trip with some basic stuff. Let us start shall we?

Historic Fiction books set in Italy

The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella

Set in 1944, after the war the British occupy Naples and things are not any better. Food is scarce and the economy isn’t moving forward with people struggling to meet ends. Soon there is an increasing number of Bristish soldiers applying to marry local Italian women. 

Books set in Italy

Captain James Gould is appointed to discourage this. He is dubbed as ‘the wedding officer’ by the locals. Ironically he falls for a young widow who is a fabulous cook. 

What you can expect:

The Wedding Officer is a perfect blend of history, romance and a lot Italian cooking. Italy and food – your weekend can’t get any better.

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

The Birth of Venus begins with the death of a nun and as her habit is stripped off, a particularly provocative tattoo is found. Thus we are taken on a journey when this mysterious nun was a fifteen year Alessandra Cecchi.

Books set in Italy

Set in the Renaissance Florence that is being suppressed by the religious and political forces, Alessandra is married off to an older man but her attraction to art and a particular artist survives the tumultuous time.

What you can expect:

What is more Italian than painting and painters? Add a bit of renaissance to the mix and you will love the suspense filled romance.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Books set in Italy

If you are into best sellers this one is for you. Set in 1950s, the book follows the friendship of Elena and Lila right from the childhood to their adult life. Lila is the more beautiful, smarter, Elena is understandably jealous but she is the one who escapes their life through education. 

What you can expect:

Read about the dirt poor Naples and the lovely friendship and rivalry between two girls. 

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

elgeewrites Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Italy 4 1

The story revolves around four major characters a nurse, a maimed thief, a bomb disposal expert and the nameless English patient just after the World War II. This non linear story takes us through war, love, culture and mostly memories. 

What you can expect:

This Booker Prize winning book is all you need to read this week. Or better catch the movie, which is surprisingly does justice to the book.

Romance books set in  Italy

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Books set in Italy

Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want—a husband, a house, a successful career.

But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. 

In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world—all alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year.

Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

elgeewrites Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Italy 6 1

A fallen self help author who is trying to restore her reputation while hiding away under the Tuscan sun until she meets a silver screen star is vacationing in

With the townspeople trying to driver her away and the guy who wouldn’t leave her alone, she definitely doesn’t have a breathing room. 

What you can expect:

A perfect romantic comedy for a lazy afternoon set in Tuscany. 

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

elgeewrites Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Italy 7 1

When Oliver spends his summer in Italy with his Professor Perlman, the professor’s son Elio begins to fall for him.The two young men have so much in common yet they cannot fathom the reason for their attractions. The six weeks’ of powerful romance is dreamy, seductive and the prose is beautiful and lyrical.

What you can expect:

This bittersweet coming of age romance is perfect if you are looking for YA read set in Riveria. 

The Lost Art of Second Chances by Courtney Hunt

When Lucy Parker’s eccentric grandmother dies, Lucy must return a beloved painting to a mysterious man in Italy, leading her on a journey to discover family secrets, secrets buried in the chaotic aftermath of World War II.

Books set in Italy

Lucy’s childhood best friend, estate lawyer Jack Hamilton, agrees to accompany her, opening up a opportunity for them to find their second chance at love. Will they find it? From a tiny town in Massachusetts to the rolling hills of Tuscany, never-told family secrets unfurl in The Lost Art of Second Chances.

What you can expect:

This heartbreaking love story set in WW II is perfect if you are a sucker for happily ever afters.

Classics set in Italy

Where Angels Fear To Tread, by E.M. Forster

Books set in Italy

When a young English widow takes off on the grand tour and along the way marries a penniless Italian, her in-laws are not amused. That the marriage should fail and poor Lilia die tragically are only to be expected.

But that Lilia should have had a baby — and that the baby should be raised as an Italian! — are matters requiring immediate correction by Philip Herriton, his dour sister Harriet, and their well-meaning friend Miss Abbott.

A recipe for happiness: four women, one medieval Italian castle, plenty of wisteria, and solitude as needed.

The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnim

Books set in Italy

The women at the center of The Enchanted April are alike only in their dissatisfaction with their everyday lives. They find each other—and the castle of their dreams—through a classified ad in a London newspaper one rainy February afternoon.

The ladies expect a pleasant holiday, but they don’t anticipate that the month they spend in Portofino will reintroduce them to their true natures and reacquaint them with joy. Now, if the same transformation can be worked on their husbands and lovers, the enchantment will be complete.

A Room With A View, by E.M. Forster

Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance.

Books set in Italy

Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George.

Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart?

Young Adults books set in Italy

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Two orphaned children are on the run, hiding among the crumbling canals and misty alleyways of the city of Venice.

Books set in Italy

Befriended by a gang of street children and their mysterious leader, the Thief Lord, they shelter in an old, disused cinema. On their trail is a bungling detective, obsessed with disguises and the health of his pet tortoises.

But a greater threat to the boys’ new-found freedom is something from a forgotten past – a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.

The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark

It is 1498, the dawn of the Renaissance, and Venice teems with rumors about an ancient book that holds the secret to unimaginable power. It is an alchemist’s dream, with recipes for gold, immortality, and undying love. But while those who seek the book will stop at nothing to get it, those who know will die to protect it.

Books set in Italy

As a storm of intrigue and desire circles the republic that grew from the sea, Luciano, a penniless orphan with a quick wit and an even faster hand, is plucked up by an illustrious chef and hired, for reasons he cannot yet begin to understand, as an apprentice in the palace kitchen.

There, in the lavish home of the most powerful man in Venice, he is initiated into the chef’s rich and aromatic world, with all its seductive ingredients and secrets. It is not long before Luciano is caught up in the madness.

What he discovers will swing open the shutters of his mind, inflame his deepest desires, and leave an indelible mark on his soul.

What you can expect:

A luminous and seductive novel, it is, at its heart, a high-spirited tribute to the fruits of knowledge and the extraordinary power of those who hold its key.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years?

Books set in Italy

All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries.

A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

What you can expect:

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more

The Eternal City by Paula Morris

Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she’s entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon. . . . Everything in this city seems magical.

Books set in Italy

That is, until the magic seems to turn very dark.

Suddenly, statues of Cupid and ancient works of art come to life before her eyes. Earthquakes rumble and a cloud of ash forms in the sky. A dark-eyed boy with wings on his heels appears and gives her a message. Laura soon realizes she is at the center of a brewing battle — a battle between the gods and goddesses, one that will shake modern-day Rome to its core.

Only she and her group of friends can truly unravel the mystery behind what is happening. As tensions mount and secret identities are revealed, Laura must rely on her own inner strength to face up to what may be a fight for her life.

What you can expect:

Acclaimed author Paula Morris brings the ancient world to vivid life in this unstoppable tale of friendship, love, and the power of the past.

Have you read any of these books? Did these books take you all over Italy virtually? Share with me your favorite books set in Italy. Let us talk more. 

Books in Italy


  1. Jenn @ Bound to Writing

    What an amazing list! I really like the sound of The Thief Lord! Thanks for sharing this great list!

  2. Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

    What a great list! I’ve read almost none of these, so I will check some of them out. Laurie R. King’s latest Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes book, Island of the Mad, was partially set in Venice, also.

    • Gayathri

      Wow those are great recommendations, I will check them out.

  3. Olivia Roach

    A Room of One’s Own is on my wishlist! I have seen the movie for Call Me By Your Name and although I didn’t really like the movie because it’s not my kind of thing, it did a good job of giving me the Italy feel! Eat Pray Love is on my shelf just waiting for me to read it…

  4. Rachel @Waves of Fiction

    Omg, The English Patient (the movie) broke my heart!

    I’m curious about The Wedding Officer. The time around WWII has always been interesting to me. Plus, there’s a romance! Sounds like my kind of read. 🙂

    • Gayathri

      I love reading about WW II too!!



  1. Flyaway Friday: Straight from the heart of an Italian | Elgee Writes - […] Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Italy […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Gayathri has been reviewing books since 2010. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she works as a writer and a digital marketer. Head over to meet me!