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What are best books and movies to see before leaving?

A few weeks I saw 2 questions and anwers to this but forgot to print it out. Now my husband is interested in reading and seeing movies and books that feature Rome and Venice. How do you look it up on this helpline without going back and reading all the question again?
Thanks!

Posted by
39 posts

Hi Marie

At the top of this page is a search box. Just type in key words of what you are looking for.

Posted by
221 posts

Marie, I asked this question a few weeks ago and got lots of replies. I am trying to find it! If I can't find it on the past posts here, I'll email you the list, I cut and pasted it into my travel files.

Posted by
221 posts

I found it! on the Italy page, you can go back to all the pages from several weeks. Mine is on page 5, I got 12 replies, it is about half way down the page "movies and books to get jazzed about Italy" my name is Chere, it was posted July 21.

Posted by
84 posts

Aside from the books mentioned in Rick's book (which I won't repeat), I liked these:

"Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling" by Ross King (the author of Brunelleschi's Dome).

Bill Bryson's travel narrative "Neither Here Nor There" has a section on Italy that is HILARIOUS. He really hits the nail on the head with Italian culture.

"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert has a good section on Italy and specifically the three months she lived in Rome. I actually met her at a book signing...wonderful author.

"Extra Virgin: A Young Woman Discovers the Italian Riviera, Where Every Month Is Enchanted" by (British writer) Annie Hawes is an excellent book about how she and her sister bought a house on the Italian riviera and fixed it up. It's MUCH, MUCH better than "Under the Tuscan Sun" and I believe it was published well before "Tuscan Sun." It's a really good portrait of the Italian character. She writes about Italian life in a way Francis Mayes can only dream about.

Posted by
25 posts

I cannot emphasize more Jen's recommendation of
"Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling" by Ross King (the author of Brunelleschi's Dome) if you plan to visit the Sistine.

I read it after I returned and wished I could transport myself there again, but I do have vivid memories of it in several ways. I sat there for a long time just soaking it in, for one thing. They are good about letting you do that.

The history of Michelangelo, the pope, Raphael,
and the chapel is extremely rich reading and will help in appreciating even more what you see there, which is understating just how good that book is!

  • Andrys

http://www.pbase.com/andrys/sistine

Posted by
160 posts

Talented Mr. Ripley, Three Coins in a Fountain, Everyone Says I Love You, Summertime (my personal favorite), Dangerous Beauty, Roman Holiday, Cassanova. And don't miss Rick's shows on Italy, they are great.

Posted by
6898 posts

Our best travel book for Venice was the DK Eyewitness Top Ten Travel Guide. It lists the top 10 of numerous different things. The front and rear covers are laminated and fold out. The rear cover has a fairly complete vaporetto stop map. Invaluable.

Posted by
1534 posts

Ditto to the Ross King books (they really made my Florence and Rome trips more rich experiences). Also Donna Leon writes a series of murder mysteries that take place in Venice. Although not about Rome and Venice, I enjoyed both "The Reluctant Tuscan" (Phil Doran) and "Ciao America!" (Beppe Severgnini) - they both give you a nice feel for the Italian approach to life, very helpful when you're trying to impose your American go-go lifestyle on the laid back Italians.

"Roman Holiday" is the best movie about Rome and makes me want to go back every time I see it. "Dangerous Beauty" is about a Venetian courtesan, not a show for the kiddies but the scenery is fabulous. While not particularly good, the latest "Casanova" movie (w/ Heath Ledger) has great scenery too.

Posted by
5 posts

The best parts about the "Casanova" film are the special features. They document the making of the film. Fabulous

Posted by
11 posts

Sarah Dunant, "In the company of a Courtesan, great read for the plane ride
have a great time..

ronda

Posted by
57 posts

We spent 3 weeks in Italy last May. I've loved the movie, "A Room with a View" for 20 years, and was able to tour the movie location, Villa Maiano, and enjoy lunch alfresco: A Taste of Tuscany Tour (artviva.com). Also read Dan Brown's novel prior to "The da Vinci Code," "Angels & Demons" then took the Rome A&D tour from RomeWalks.com. Of course watched "Under the Tuscan Sun" and read all 5 books by Frances Mayes; then found her Bramasole Villa in Cortona, and left a poppy in the shrine (and traced Diane Lane's steps in Positano). Also, the fun movie, "Only You" shows colorful scenes from Venice to Tuscan hill towns to Positano, and The Mouth of Truch in Rome (where we stuck our hand inside)- also seen in Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck's "Roman Holiday." Finally, loved "Three Coins in a Fountain" if you're going to Rome.

Posted by
57 posts

Oops: TYPO - I meant to write, The Mouth of Truth (La Boca de la Verita in Santa Maria in Cosmedin church).

Posted by
241 posts

Warning...violent content. Does not include Rome and Venice. Just saw on PBS show about US Army 10th mountain division which fought its way through the Appenines in '44-'45. If you want to see historic old Italy watch this hour long show. Includes modern scences of veterans reunions in Italy. Warning...this is the real Italy.

Posted by
196 posts

Ditto on Sarah Dunant's In the Company of the Courtesan; also her The Birth of Venus, Leonardo's Swans (Karen Essex) and both Ross King books. DVD: Tea w/ Mussolini.