5 Ways to Explore the Romance and Culture of Italy From The Comfort of Your Armchair

by Janis on November 14, 2012

This guest post is by Brenda Richman, a Kansas City-based small business consultant. 

Florence at Sunset                                                                            Photo by sherseydc

Passionate about exploring the world through travel adventures, I love to be out traveling.  But, I also love planning, exploring possibilities, researching and deciding where to go next and what to do there.  Thus, great travel guide books are some of my favorite reads.

But what about just relaxing with a good story – a novel, biography, or mystery?  What better way to combine the love of seeing the world with the love of stories than armchair traveling via books set in fascinating places.  Sometimes they just entertain.  Sometimes they enhance understanding of the culture and history of an area.   Sometimes they inspire you to add a destination to your travel list, or to move one up in priority.

If Italy is one of your future destinations, here are five books to help you explore its history and culture vicariously.

1.  The Birth of Venus
 by Sarah Dunant,  an absorbing story of love, art, religion, and power set in 15th century Florence.


2.   Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
by Dava Sobel, a biography of the personality and accomplishments of Florence’s early-seventeenth-century Galileo who defined the chasm between science and religion.


3. The City of Falling Angels
 by John Berendent, a series of entertaining tales and misbehaviors of legendary Venice.

4. Juliet: A Novel
by Anne Fortier, a lush, romantic novel set in Siena with a present day heroine with ties to her 14th-century ancestor, Giulietta, of Romeo and Juliet fame.

5.  Angels & Demons
by Dan Brown, is a fast-paced thriller which pits scientific terrorists against Vatican City.

If you are looking for novels set in a destination that you plan to visit, you may want to check out the website BooksSetIn to find a great story based on your future destination.  

What destination would you like to explore through the eyes of a storyteller?  Please share in comments below.

Entrepreneur Brenda Richman has a passion for experiencing the world through travel adventures.

Learn more about Brenda’s travel experiences here, and her consulting work helping businesses increase market penetration and enhance the quality of their client experiences here.


Other blog posts with travel book recommendations to check out…


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