Have you ever read a book that inspired you to travel?
Perhaps you’ve read books that are set in a place you have visited and evoke memories of the time you spent there?
Perhaps you have planned a trip and used Travel Guides such as Lonely Planet to discover more about your destination, what not to miss and what to avoid?
Perhaps circumstances have prevented you from travelling afar but reading books has taken you on a special journey?
I’ve actually read books from each of the categories I’ve mentioned above.
This month, I’m sharing two books I’ve recently read that have been set in one of my favourite countries – Italy. I’ve always been drawn to Italy and visited long before I met my husband who was actually born in Italy and came to Australia as a 4 year old in 1952. We have visited several times together, as he still has cousins who live in the house where he was born and we’ve also taken the opportunity to explore the country in detail.
I remember the first time he returned to Italy – 50 years after he left. As we walked around, I could sense his feeling of ‘being home’. It is a lovely memory that I cherish.
Now back to the books!
As I mentioned, I’ve recently read two books that have evoked memories of my visits to Italy and which has made me impatient to start travelling again.
Ciao Bella! Six Take Italy by Kate Langbroek
Have you ever thought about packing up and moving to another country? Kate Langbroek, an Australian Radio Personality and Actress and her husband, Peter decided to do just that and take their four children on an adventure to Italy for a year. Well it was supposed to be for a year but COVID forced an extension. It was interesting to read about how Italy coped with this worldwide pandemic.
Ciao Bella! is about having a dream and living it as Kate shares the sublime joys and utter chaos of adapting to a new life in Bologna, what you discover about yourself when you are a stranger in a strange land, and how she fell in love. With a country.Amazon review
Deliciously funny, insightful and often deeply moving, Ciao Bella! is Kate’s love letter to Italy and her family. It is also a glorious reminder of what Italians can teach us about living life to the full – and what really matters when the world goes to hell in a handbasket.
I felt I was taking the Italian adventure with Kate and her family. I have visited Italy several times but never made it to Bologna. It was wonderful to enjoy Italy again through her experiences. Now I want to make travel plans!
I gave this book 4 stars
Still Life by Sarah Winman
My husband and I spent a glorious 5 nights in an apartment in Florence (Firenze) back in 2012. We had briefly visited before but this trip was amazing as we wandered the streets and lived like Florentines. The apartment was across from the Mercato Centrale where we shopped to cook Italian dishes.
My second book of 2022 and I just adored it. Sarah Winman’s writing is superb. Set from WWII until the 1970s, from Tuscany to the West End and then Florence, this book was a joy to read. Ulysses Temper, a British Soldier meets Evelyn Skinner an are historian, possibly a spy meet in Tuscany and find they are kindred spirits. Although it would take decades for them to meet again. I loved all of the characters – Ulysses, Peg, Alys, Cressy, Col and Pete and of course Evelyn and Dottie. Florence is my favourite Italian city so I indulged in memories of my visits there. I highly recommend this book and if I could have given more stars I would have.
This has been one of my favourite books for 2022 which I rated 5 stars.
Do you have a favourite travel book? Why not join us at Friday Friendly Challenge/What’s On Your Bookshelf and share it with us? You can link up your post below.
Friendly Friday Challenge
Donna, Jo, Debbie and I have been delighted to co-host this one-time combo challenge with Friendly Friday Challenge and What’s On Your Bookshelf. To join us and showcase your favourite travel book, you can share in the comments, pingback with your own post, or use the handy InLInkz bar below. Please be sure to tag both challenges (‘Friendly Friday’ and #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge). We look forward to hearing your thoughts as well as your travel book suggestions!