Italy books, films and TV

Get in the mood for Italy with books and films set in Italy, books about Italy and Italian films and TV shows

This section of Italy Heaven is dedicated to Italy books and films. That is, book, films and TV with an Italian connection, that will help you prepare for your trip, make you nostalgic for past Italian holidays, open your mind to new aspects of Italy, its culture and its history, or that will simply entertain the armchair traveller or Italy-lover. This is a personal selection, which will be added to on an ongoing basis.

Italy books

A balcony in Verona: definitely not Juliet's, but still a major tourist attraction. 'A rose by any other name...'.

There are four types of book that will make a real difference to your trip to Italy. If you start reading in advance of your holiday, you’ll find that a literary preparation both deepens your appreciation and acts to whet your appetite.

1. Background reading:
If you’re interested in Italy, ancient or modern, you’ll find that books about history, food or culture or more specialised guidebooks will give your holiday experience much more depth. To learn more about modern Italian life, try reading non-fiction by expats like Tim Parks – they give a funny and insightful view into the culture.

2. Fiction:
Reading fiction set in your destination can give a real added frisson to your stay. True, some of the authors never visited their settings, but that doesn’t the Verona tourist board any sleepless nights. A nice work of fiction set in Italy can make great airport reading, and you can always take some books of the trashier variety to read in the evenings in rental accommodation, then use the suitcase space for souvenirs on the way home.

3. Essential guidebooks:
A practical guidebook for your visit, complete with maps, directions and details of opening times. Still useful for in-depth exploration even in the age of smartphones and online research.

4. Language guides
Not particularly glamorous, but even a few phrases will help you interact, make friends, and understand that scrawled notice on the door of the closed museum.

Italy films

And of course there are FILMS: what better way to prepare for a trip to Italy than watching tales of passion and drama (and car chases) played out in front of mouthwatering views and the exquisite settings of movies with Italian locations?

Obviously there are thousands of films set in Italy, a country which has a good film industry of its own. But here are some selected highlights of special interest to the international visitor:

Visit the Italy films page to see a selection of movies of interest to the international visitor.