Capital City: Rome
Italy (Italian: Italia) is a large country in Southern Europe. Together with Greece, it is acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country. It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashions, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its many beautiful coasts, alpine lakes and mountains (the Alps and Apennines). No wonder it is often nicknamed the Bel paese (beautiful country).
The climate of Italy is that of typical Mediterranean countries. Italy has hot, dry summers, with August being the hottest month of the year. In the north, they experience cold winters often with snow, as compared to mild ones in the south. Some regions in the south of Italy can experience no rainfall for the whole summer season. The long mountain ranges in Italy impact the weather significantly, as you can experience very different weather going from town to town.
Non-Guidebooks about Italy or by Italian writers.
The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone — a biography of Michelangelo that also paints a lovely portrait of Tuscany and Rome
Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King — a compelling story of one of the greatest structural engineering achievements of the Renaissance. The story of the building of the immense dome on top of the basilica in Florence, Italy.
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes — an account of a woman who buys and restores a holiday home in Cortona, Italy. ▪
Full of local flavor and a true taste of Tuscany.
The Sea and Sardinia by D.H. Lawrence — describes a brief excursion undertaken by Lawrence and Frieda, his wife aka Queen Bee, from Taormina in Sicily to the interior of Sardinia. They visited Cagliari, Mandas, Sorgono, and Nuoro. Despite the brevity of his visit, Lawrence distills an essence of the island and its people that is still recognisable today. Also by D.H. Lawrence is Etruscan Places, recording his impressions of Cerveteri, Tarquinia, Vulci and Volterra.
Italian neighbours and A season with Verona by Tim Parks. Two portraits of nowdays life in Italy as seen by an English writer who decided to live just outside Verona.
Winter Stars by Beatrice Lao — poems born between the Alps and the Tyrrhenian by the oriental poetess, 988979991X
The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo — stories about China by the Venetian traveller