Italy is a stunning country, rich in history and culture. It has a vast array of landscapes and a wide variety of cuisines to explore. Circling its boot-shaped peninsula, Italy offers plenty to see and do for travellers of all ages and interests.
There are many ways to explore the country, from hiking in the Alps to exploring ancient ruins, but reading about it is one of the most rewarding ways.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of our favourite travel books on Italy that will help you plan your next trip or get you excited for your next vacation. We’ve included a few of different sorts so you can find something that suits your taste.
The Best Travel Guidebooks on Italy for Food Lovers
If you love Italian meals, there is no better place to start than with David Leite’s Italy Eating & Drinking, which he compiled with three of the country’s top chefs.
This guide covers the basics of Italian cuisine and details every dish you can try during your travels.
You’ll learn to eat local specialities like the liquorice leaf-wrapped risotto or the branzino with lemon and garlic.
You’ll also find dishes that you may never have tried before and enjoy the meals that Italians are famous for eating during their local festivals, like the soppressata and pancetta.
If you want a more look at the history and culture behind Italian cuisine, Leite’s Italy: An Insider’s Guide is an excellent place to start.
The Best Travel Guidebooks on Italy for History Buffs
Modern Italy: Your Eyewitness Guide to the World’s Greatest Destination
Learn all about Italy, from its history and art to its food and culture, to its beautiful cities. Along the way, you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of Italy’s most prominent cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan.
Here are just a few highlights:
The secret of Italy’s secret diet
How to navigate Tuscany
The secret to Italian wine
The secrets of Rome
The truth behind Piedmont
How to spot traditional Italian graffiti
An Italian collector’s favourite sites
About the author: Adam Satterfield is a book lover and a freelance travel writer based in Seattle, Washington.
The Best Travel Guidebooks on Italy for Nature Lovers
For those in search of a more in-depth exploration of Italy’s regions, books such as Italy’s Nature to the Eminent Kalfletta present an at-a-glance of each part with stunning photographs and expert insights.
The guide spans the Apennine Mountains to the seaside and shows you why it’s a popular destination with tourists year-round.
Many consider this book one of the best travel guides to Italy out there. It covers every place you’d ever want to see in the country, from Rome to the Greek Islands to the castles of Rome to Umbria.
Larina Mariscotti’s organized guides will give you everything you need to plan a visit to Italy.
What to do in Italy
If you’re a traveller that wants to do it all in Italy, travel writer Karen MacNeil has a fun guide called This is Not Italy that takes you on a tour of Rome, Florence and Venice.
You’ll visit the many famous tourist attractions in each city, including the Vatican, and see why they are so popular. Some tips for navigating Italy include following landmarks to guide your way and understanding some Italian lingo.
This book is an excellent choice for travellers of all experience levels because it’s filled with insider tips from a local.
If you’re looking for a book that showcases more of Italy than the other guides on this list, Rob Cremer has a travel guide book that takes you on a comprehensive tour of Italy’s historical sites.
What Are The Best Italy Travel Books?
#1: DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Italy
Some travel guidebooks are updated yearly, while others lay dormant for more than ten years before being revised.
But, the DK Eyewitness guidebook for Italy tells less about what to do and more about how to create your trip and make it count for you.
It sells at less than 20USD, which is not a bad investment if you ask me.
Because it offers a solid overview of Italy and helps you figure out what to do once you arrive there.
The DK Eyewitness Travel Book for Italy has plenty of top sights that are covered because they are places you’d want to see on your first trip to Italy.
It also covers 36 pages of off-beaten-path ideas, such that even if you are on a return visit, you are sure to find new things and experiences to enjoy.
It also has 70 additional detailed maps that help your tour of the urban areas in Italy.
#2: DK Eyewitness Travel Guide-Venice|Veneto
Venice, Italy can be overwhelming, because there are quite a few touristy sites, and the food there can be average, especially if you don’t know where to go for the best meals.
But the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide-Venice|Veneto lays it all out for you, including most Veneto regions and some of the best accommodation deals you can get outside of Venice.
This guide will rev up your excitement of staying in Venice or Veneto while on your Italy tour.
It also offers some creative ways to approach your itinerary planning, with a quick rundown of most touristy top sights and maps to guide your daily tour of the towns and cities.
With lots of background information on Italian museums, restaurants, waterways, architecture, etc.
If you are a sucker for art, this guide is for you.
#3: The Revealed Rome Handbook
If you’re a first-time traveller to Rome, Italy, and you are looking to see the top sights and the off-beaten paths in Rome, this guide, The Revealed Rome Handbook, is your best companion.
This guide is more of a handy, practical resource book that offers historical and helpful information to help your tour of Rome.
The Handbook also offers sections on Italian etiquette and how to avoid scams for first-timers in Italy.
Are you on a first-time visit to Italy? This book is your best choice!
#4. Glam Italia
The Glam Italia is a traveller’s companion for the curious traveller, first-timers, travellers on a budget, and generally anyone who wants a detailed guidebook to making authentic connections during their vacation in Italy.
It lays out how best to tour Italy without breaking the bank.
The author, Corrine Cookie, is a travel blogger and guide with curated private vacations throughout Italy, which means you can trust her real-talk tips and insider knowledge for a hassle-free and easy-on-the-wallet tour of Italy.
The guidebook Glam Italia approaches Italy in such a way that lets you create your dream travel itinerary while leveraging on the information she provides, with a focus on food, history, and shopping in Italy.
Glam Italia also provides lists of the regional winery and some flight-booking advice to help you get the best possible deals for your Italy trip.
#5: The History of Rome in 12 Buildings
The History of Rome in 12, Buildings is an excellent guidebook that approaches Rome as though it were an outdoor museum, with a curated tour of 12 Rome’s most famous and significant buildings and historical places.
The guidebook is ideal for knowledge of Roman architecture, archaeology, and history.
It is for travel junkies who wish to concentrate more on famous locations in Rome or who are looking to dive into the architectures, monuments, and structures they stumble upon during their tours.
It is a twelve-chapter guidebook, with each chapter dedicated to each building/monument of a particular period in Roman history.
Each chapter is subdivided into three sections, one for history, practical information on nearby restaurants and details on how to get there, and a glimpse of what’s coming next.
Overall, the guidebook gives you not just names and dates but the context behind each stunning artefact you stumble on while on your Roman trip.
#6: Tuscany, Italy–Small-town Itineraries for the Foodie Traveler
For most travellers, a trip to Tuscany is often romanticized, and it’s for a reason.
There’s just something special about Tuscany that travellers love.
This Italian city is scented with cypress food and wine.
This guidebook helps travellers immerse themselves in the rhythm of Tuscan life while touring most of the famous towns.
This guidebook offers seven itineraries ideas for your travels through the much smaller towns of Tuscany.
For foodies, expect lots of restaurant recommendations and Michelin-ranked restaurants with little-known ones in scenic hill towns of Tuscany.
Tuscany, Italy: Small-town Itineraries for the foodie offer plenty of information on history and context behind most of the touristy sights and places you may stumble on your way to Tuscany, Italy.
#7: 2018 StreetSmart Rome
Here’s an intelligent map that lets you plan your daily explorations around Italy.
And yes, even in the age of Google Maps, accurate maps are still necessary — especially if you’re travelling sans roaming data and need to be able to figure out where you are and where you’re going.
It offers 3D illustrations at a glance.
The author is a cartographer, graphic designer, and information architect, which means you can trust his real-talk guide.
#8: Kids’ Travel Guide: Italy|Rome
If you’re looking to bring your little ones along on that vacation trip to Italy, then you should get them this Kids’ Travel Guide: Italy| Rome for their travel guide to Italy.
The guide has excellent ways of teaching kids how to have fun in Italy.
It offers colouring pages, quizzes, and handy travel tips just for your kids to have the best travel adventure.
It is an excellent way to teach your kids the language, history, geography, and culture of Italy while offering a crash course on everything in Italy.
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What Is The Best Travel Book for Italy?
Our recommendations come in two categories:
• A Do It Yourself Travel Guide Books for travellers who are putting together their travel itinerary.
• Travel Books Offering Historical Information for travellers who are planning a more organized group tour.
Whatever category of information you seek, we got you covered in this article.
So, here’s our recommendation
• DK Eyewitness Travel Guide
Most Do It Yourself Guide Books to Italy will likely spend half of the time talking about hotels, restaurants, and train schedules, which is not beneficial for travellers doing organized group tours.
An Italy Guide Book is what you need for travellers on an organized tour because you need comprehensive information about places and no hotel or restaurant names.
Some Italy Guide Books are undoubtedly packed with lots of information but do not have pictures. They are just locations of hotels, restaurants, and train stations.
But with the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Book, be sure you will get all the information on tourist sites you will visit, with apt explanations of the location’s history and what makes that place relevant.
Unlike Italy Guide Books by Rick Steves, though with high ratings, these books contain a lot of information about places to stay in cities, which a traveller on an organized group tour may not necessarily need.
The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Book to Italy ©2019 sells for 19.51USD.
That travel guide book (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide ©2019) is constantly rated five stars on Amazon.
Travellers’ review on Amazon says that the book has tons of maps, historical information, an apt description of cities and attraction sites to see, plus helpful travel information and pictures about Italy.
The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Book does not dwell on hotels and restaurants’ locations because a tour guide has all that covered if you are on tour.
• Italy Complete Guide by Frommer
This Complete Guide Book on Italy by Frommer is rated five stars on Amazon.
Traveller reviews highly recommend that you plan to tour Italy on a solo trip, but you are looking for suggestions and ideas about tour-to-do activities and tour-to-see places. Frommer’s Complete Travel Guide is for you.
The book sells at 16.39 USD on Amazon.
• Italy Country Guide by Lonely Planet
This comprehensive Country Guide on Italy by Lonely Planet is also rated five on Amazon.
Reviewers advise travellers looking to tour Italy in a do-it-yourself style and wish to add more activities to their to-see and to-do travel list.
Lonely Planet Country Guide to Italy is the ideal guidebook for you.
You can get it for 18.19USD on Amazon.
• Fodor’s The Best of Italy: Full-color Travel Guide
Fodor’s The Best of Italy Travel Guide us fourth on our list of The Best Travel Book for Italy.
It is rated 5, although there are not too many purchases or reviews.
The book treats the basics and also offers a comprehensive guide to Italy.
You can get it at 15.49 USD on Amazon.
How Much Do Tour Guides Make In Italy?
Wondering, how much tour guides make in Italy?
The average pay for a tour guide in Italy is €9 per hour.
How much do your guides make in Italy?
The minimum average salary for tour guides in Italy is €9.
Here’s a rundown of a tour guide salary in Italy:
The average salary is Euros for tour guides by companies.
#1: Casa Museo di Antonio Gramsci at €9 per hour.
Average Range: from €9 to €10
#2: Ferrari at €9 per hour.
Tour Guide| Hourly
Average Range: from €8 to €9
#3: Fenice Servizi Teatrali at €507 per month.
Average Range: from €489 to €532
#4: ToursByLocals at €50 per hour.
Average Range: from €48 to €52
#5: Smart Trip at €13,025 per year.
Tour Guide| Yearly
Average Range: from €13K to €14K
#6: Ars et Fides at €9,981 per year.
Average Range: from €10K to €10K
#7: Euro adventures at €256 per month.
Average Range: from €245 to €268
#8: Brown Hudson at €1,497 per month.
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What Should Tourists Wear in Italy?
If you want to avoid disapproving stares while in Italy, then you’d need to know What Tourists should Wear in Italy, these are the tips for a tour of a country renowned for its fashion sense and grandeur.
Dressing well and looking comfortable at the same time in this fashion-forward city can be challenging for most travellers who are used to walking about in plain comfy clothes.
Italians love stylish clothes.
So blend incorrectly. You need to follow their lead and go for clothes with clean, neutral colours and easy-to-care-for fabrics.
Be comfortable and straightforward.
If you are not planning a vacation that includes trips to the beach, gyms, or jogging, then you should leave those flip-flops and athletic shoes at home.
Bring low-heeled and stylish leather walking shoes, and this advice goes for both men and women.
Bring boots only if you’re planning to go on hikes in mid-winter.
Consider the climate
Summers in Italy can be very steamy, but shorts are still considered resort wear by many Italians.
For women, cotton, slacks, or capri pants are stylish alternatives.
The general appeal for jeans is common even in Italy, so a quality pair of jeans (no ripped jeans) donned with ironed sports shirt or blouse is acceptable casual wear in Italy.
Also, bring sweatshirts and a light jacket for everything spring and fall.
Winters in Italy can be very chilly, so bring a wool jacket or coat.
Also, if you can, bring a small raincoat or travel umbrella.
Pack other travel accessories
A trip to Italy indeed requires a hat and sunglasses.
For women, you may not need so many make-overs as most Italians prefer simple pieces of jewellery and simple makeup, with soft shades of lipstick and nail polish.
Don’t go for the overkill!
Plus, don’t forget to shop for local scarfs, shawl, or men’s ties for your wardrobe.
Safety Tips for Tourists in Italy
Staring too hard at sights might give you away as a tourist in this city.
So, a little more composure is needed for your safety from petty thieves and con artists.
While in Italy, shop at travel stores for stylish bags with reinforced anti-theft straps to outsmart purse-snatchers and pickpockets.
Going about with fanny backpacks tips off pickpockets and quickly give you away as a tourist.
Endeavour to keep all your vital documents, cash, and credit cards in an inside jacket pocket.
Also, bring a crushable string or canvas shopping bag to avoid juggling heavy packages.
Travel Etiquettes for Tourists in Italy
For women travelling to Italy, endeavour to dress as modestly as is necessary for Italy.
This is because churches and some museums often require it.
While in the city, you’d find signs outside most church buildings with details of dress codes that are required.
Shorts and dresses with bare arms, low-cut dresses and short skirts for women, and tank tops for men are not allowed in the churches.
For head in a church for women, a shawl or scarf would do.
While men are expected to take off their hats as they enter the church.
This is so, especially for the more conservative South of Italy.
The beauty of travel guides is that they contain lots of great tips but are also visual and informative.
You can learn all you need to know about Italy from our guide, and still get a fantastic travel experience.
We have fully explained the best Italian travel guides book you can use to plan that easy trip.
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