Top 9 Best Italy Travel Books: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip

best Italy travel books

Are you searching for the best travel guidebooks for Italy to help you plan your next trip or get you excited for your next vacation? Italy is a beautiful country with plenty to do, see, and eat. It’s also home to some of the world’s most famous tourist destinations, including Rome, Venice, Florence, and more.

When planning your trip to Italy, it’s important to learn as much as possible about the local culture and customs before visiting the country. Researching the best Italy Travel books will help you understand what to expect while visiting, but picking out just one can be tough.

If you’re planning a trip there any time soon or are simply considering one in the future, it’s important to know what resources are available to you as you begin your research and planning process.

In this article, I will highlight the best Italian travel books so that you can pick the one that suits your interests and helps you maximize your enjoyment on your trip!

What Are The Best Italy Travel Books?

#1. DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Italy

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Italy

Top 9 Best Italy Travel Books: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip
  • Some travel guidebooks are updated yearly, while others lay dormant for more than ten years before being revised.
  • 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 25 USD, which is not a bad investment if you ask me.
  • 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 covered because they are places you want to see on your first trip to Italy.

It also covers 36 pages of off-beaten-path ideas, so you will surely find new things and experiences to enjoy even if you are on a return visit.

It also has 70 additional detailed maps that help your tour of the urban areas in Italy.

#2: DK Eyewitness Travel Guide-Venice|Veneto

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide-Venice | Veneto

Top 9 Best Italy Travel Books: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip
  • This guide will fuel your excitement about staying in Venice or Veneto while on your Italy tour.
  • It also offers creative ways to approach your itinerary planning, with a quick rundown of the 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.

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 if you want to discover in depth the beauty of Italy, you may decide to stay there longer and even get a residency.

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 Venice.

This guide will fuel your excitement about staying in Venice or Veneto while on your Italy tour.

It also offers creative ways to approach your itinerary planning, with a quick rundown of the 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. Lonely Planet Italy (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet Italy (Travel Guide)

Top 9 Best Italy Travel Books: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip
  • Lonely Planet’s travel guidebook to Italy is one of the best you can find. With a detailed map and easily accessible information, this book will make your trip to the country easier.
  • You’ll get insider tips on food, drink, sightseeing, and shopping, as well as up-to-date recommendations on what’s hot right now. And with Lonely Planet’s iconic red cover and great design, you can’t go wrong with this guidebook!
  • With over nine editions, this popular book never goes out of date, and it’s been updated recently with new content from the locals.
  • It offers you the most relevant, up-to-date advice you need to know what to see and skip and what hidden discoveries lie ahead.

Rome offers over two millennia of art and architecture, Venice offers an Escher-esque maze of narrow streets and canals, and Tuscany offers blockbuster museums and elegant churches; start your journey now to the heart of Italy with your trusted travel companion!

This means that even if you’re not traveling around Italy but just visiting one city at a time (which can be more cost-effective), it still pays to have Lonely Planet by your side!

#4. The Revealed Rome Handbook

The Revealed Rome Handbook

Top 9 Best Italy Travel Books: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip
  • If you’re a first-time traveler to Rome, Italy, and want 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 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!

#5. Glam Italia

Glam Italia

Top 9 Best Italy Travel Books: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip
  • The Glam Italia is a traveler’s companion for curious travelers, first-timers, travelers 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, Corinna Cooke, is a travel blogger and guide with curated private vacations throughout Italy. 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 the information she provides, with a focus on food, history, and shopping in Italy.
  • Glam Italia also provides lists of regional wineries and some flight-booking advice to help you get the best possible deals for your Italy trip.

#6: The History of Rome in 12 Buildings

Top 9 Best Italy Travel Books: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip
  • 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 of 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 are looking to dive into the architecture, 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 artifact you stumble on while on your Roman trip.

#7: Tuscany, Italy–Small-town Itineraries for the Foodie Traveler

Top 9 Best Italy Travel Books: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip
  • For most travelers, a trip to Tuscany is often romanticized, and for a good reason. There’s just something special about Tuscany that travelers love.
  • This Italian city is scented with cypress food and wine.
  • This guidebook helps travelers 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 many restaurant recommendations and Michelin-ranked restaurants with little-known ones in the scenic hill towns of Tuscany.
  • Tuscany, Italy: Small-town Itineraries for the foodie offer plenty of information on the history and context behind most touristy sights and places you may stumble upon on your way to Tuscany, Italy.

#8: StreetSmart Rome

Top 9 Best Italy Travel Books: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip
  • 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 traveling sans roaming data and need 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.

#9: Kids’ Travel Guide: Italy|Rome

Top 9 Best Italy Travel Books: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip
  • 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 coloring pages, quizzes, and handy travel tips to give your kids 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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The Best Travel Guidebook in 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.

If you want a 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 about Italy, from its history and art to its food and culture, to its beautiful cities. 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 favorite 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

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 Is The Best Travel Book for Italy?

Top 9 Best Italy Travel Books: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip

Our recommendations come in two categories:

• A Do It Yourself Travel Guide book for travelers putting together their travel itinerary.

• Travel Books Offering Historical Information for travelers 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 travelers doing organized group tours.

An Italy Guide Book is what you need for travelers 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, you can 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 traveler on an organized group tour may not necessarily need.

The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Book to Italy ©2019 sells for 19.51USD.

That travel guidebook (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide ©2019) is rated five stars on Amazon.

Travelers’ review on Amazon says that the book has tons of maps, historical information, an apt description of cities and attraction sites, and helpful travel information and pictures about Italy.

The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Book does not dwell on hotel and restaurant 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.

Traveler reviews 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 to Italy by Lonely Planet is also rated five stars on Amazon.

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 is fourth on our list of The Best Travel Books 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’s salary in Italy:

The average salary is Euros for tour guides by companies.

#1: Casa Museo di Antonio Gramsci at €9 per hour.

Tour Guide|Hourly

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.

Tour Guide|Monthly

Average Range: from €489 to €532

#4: ToursByLocals at €50 per hour.

Tour Guide|Hourly

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.

Tour Guide|Intern

Average Range: from €10K to €10K

#7: Euro adventures at €256 per month.

Travel Guide|Monthly

Average Range: from €245 to €268

#8: Brown Hudson at €1,497 per month.

Travel Guide|Monthly

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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 travelers 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 colors 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 makeovers as most Italians prefer simple jewelry pieces 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 scarves, shawls, 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, 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 gives you away as a tourist.

Endeavor 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

Women traveling to Italy endeavor 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 a 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.


When it comes to travel, there are so many things you need to know before you get on that plane. What will the weather be like? Will I need a visa? What kinds of vaccinations do I need? How much money should I bring with me?

These questions and more can make traveling seem daunting. But don’t worry! There are some great resources available to help you plan your trip.

We’ve compiled a list of the best travel guidebooks for Italy below to give you a head start. Enjoy exploring this beautiful country, and come back to tell us about your adventures!

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