Further Reading: Italy

GUIDES
There are many good Italy guidebooks to choose from. Here are a few we like:

Blue Guides: Paul Blanchard, Northern Italy, Norton, 12th ed., 2005
[Also Concise Italy, Central Italy, others, 2009]
Dry to some, but easily the most serious, detailed guides to the art, architecture and history. Maps of all the major towns, good practical info, no photos.

Eyewitness Travel Guides: Adele Evans et alia, Italy, DK Publishing, 2012
[also Florence & Tuscany, Milan & The Lakes, others]
Very popular guides, well laid-out, heavily illustrated. They also publish good Top 10 guides.

GUIDES
Fred Plotkin, Italy for the Gourmet Traveler, Kyle Books, rev. ed. 2007

TRAVEL/MEMOIRS
Henry James, Italian Hours, Penguin Classics, 1995 (orig. 1909)
Mary McCarthy, The Stones of Florence, (orig. 1959) & Venice Observed, (orig. 1956), Penguin, 2006
Tim Parks, Italian Neighbors, Grove Weindenfeld, 1992; An Italian Education,
Avon Books, 1995

OPERA
Julien Budden, The Operas of Verdi, 3 vol., Oxford, rev.ed. 1992  Detailed musical analyses.
Mosco Carner, Puccini: A Critical Biography, Knopf, orig. 1959  Long the standard bio.
Earl of Harewood and Gustav Kobbé, The New Kobbé’s Opera Book,
Putnam, 11th ed. (1997)
Mary Jane Phillips-Matz, Verdi: A Biography, Oxford, 1996 (orig. 1993);
Puccini: A Biography, Northeastern, 2002
Well researched, exhaustive, and perhaps definitive bios of the subjects.

GENERAL
Luigi Barzini, The Italians, Atheneum, 1996 (orig.1964)
Harry Hearder & Jonathan Morris, Italy: A Short History, Cambridge, 2nd ed., 2001
Peter & Linda Murray, Art of the Renaissance, Thanes and Hudson, 1985
Ross King, Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture, Penguin, 2001; Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling, Penguin, 2003

FICTION
Stendhal (Henri Beyle), The Charterhouse of Parma (1838) trans. Howard, Scott-Moncrief
George Eliot, Romola (1863)  A historical novel of Renaissance Florence.
Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady (1881)  The Old World meets the New.
E.M. Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905); A Room with a View (1908)
The English learn how to live from life in the south.
Giorgio Bassani, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1962)
A haunting story of Fascist Italy and a family of upper class Jews in Ferrara.
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