I sent this list of books and movies about Italy to the group of women joining me in September on my Italy Retreat For Women, so I thought you might also be interested in My My Top 43 Books and Movies About Italy. If you have time, have some fun and read a few books about Italy, then watch Italian movies! This list, of course, is not complete, but it is a taste of la dolce vita, the sweet life. I admit, some of the movies are not the best, but I love the Italian scenery, so I ignore the content!
Here are My Top 43 Books and Movies about Italy
MOVIES ABOUT ITALY:
- *Enchanted April (Movie and Book) in English. Four British women leave cold wet England for a month in an Italian Villa close to Cinque Terre, in Portofino.
- *Under The Tuscan Sun (Movie AND memoir) in English.
- *Cinema Paradiso (Classic Italian Movie with English subtitles)
- *Bread and Tulips, “Panne e Tulipane” (In Italian with English subtitles)
- *Documentary: Visions of Italy. 2 CD set. ‘The grand tour from a stunning aerial view’ is the subtitle. As seen on Public Television. (300 minutes total, but any time spent watching is glorious). Truly breathtaking as you fly above Italy from the north to the south including Sicily, all the while a woman with a sultry voice narrates.
- Eat, Pray, Love. Not the greatest movie, but some delightful scenes in Italy.
- Trip to Italy: with comedians, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. (I actually did not like this movie, but loved the breathtaking landscapes of Italy, and some of the Cinque Terre where we visit during my Italy Retreat For Women).
- Romantic Italian Movies: 10 most romantic movies filmed in Italy
- Tea With Mussolini
- Dream of Italy, by Cathy McCabe: Season 1 and 2 on YouTube
- Sicilian Detective series, “ Montalbano” There is also the Young Montalbano series, but the mature Montalbano, played by Italian actor Luca Zingarro, is equally gripping as a good “Who Dunnit?” Plus you get subtitles for the Sicilian dialect.
- The following are Italian movies spoken in the Italian language. Some are better than others, and some are not so great, but helpful if you’d like to listen to and learnItalian. All can be streamed from Netflix:
- The Last Kiss
- I am love
- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
- The Son’s Room
- We have a Pope
- Marriage Italian Style
- *Benvenuti al Sud Italian with English Subtitles.(Welcome to the South) (I love this but you may just be able to watch on youtube in different segments).
- *Il Postino, The Postman (Love this one)
BOOKS ABOUT ITALY:
- *The HIlls of Tuscany by Ferenc Maté. A wonderful memoir. Read this before his book, A Vineyard in Tuscany
- Everyday Tuscany by Frances Mayes (20 years after her move to Cortona)
- Extra Virgin (trilogy) Anne Hawes
- Books by Timothy Holmes (he’s written 5) The Achille Peroni Mystery Series (I have NOT read these but hear they’re good)
- A Thousand Days in Tuscany. A Thousand Days in Venice, and others by Marlena de Blasi.
- My Italian Neighbors and others by Tim Parks
- The Reluctant Tuscan by Phil Doran. Humorous
- Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. Novel takes place near Cinque Terre. Photo on front cover is one of the villages of the Cinque Terre. (Interesting but not great).
- *A Vineyard in Tuscany, A Wine Lover’s Dream by Ferenc Maté (love this). First read The Hills of Tuscany.
- Too Much Tuscan Sun, Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide by Dario Castagno. (humorous)
- La Bella Lingua by Dianne Hales. Wonderful history of the Italian language, and delightful stories).
- As The Romans Do by Alan Epstein
- Italy For The Gourmet Traveler by Fred Plotkin
- Italy Travel Books: Fodor or Eyewitness
- Rick Steves’ Italy. Travel book with interesting facts of many cities in Italy. He has videos available from all over Italy, including Cinque Terre. Available at many libraries.
- *The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. Historical novel about Michelangelo’s life. (Charleston Heston and Rex Harrison star in the movie from the 60s).
- 100 Place in Italy Every Woman Should Go & 50 Places in Rome, Florence, & Venice Every Woman Should Go by Susan Van Allen
So there you have it! My Top 43 Books and Movies about Italy! As I mentioned, there are just so many wonderful books, but this will get you started for some fun reading about il bel paese, the beautiful country.
Buon divertimento! Enjoy!
What are some of your favorite books and movies of Italy!?
You are welcome to reprint, copy, or distribute Lenora Boyle’s article, provided author credit is included.