Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world which is what makes it an incredible setting for literature. It is after all the 5th most visited country by international tourists and has the most UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world.
If for some reason, you can’t visit this beautiful country then these aesthetically pleasing, and geographically stunning books set in Italy are sure to take you there through the beautifully written stories.
So, without much ado, check out these books to be left speechless by the seductively alluring settings.
Best Books Set in Italy :-
- The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton
- The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson
- The Tuscan Secret by Angela Petch
- The Madonna of the Mountains by Elise Valmorbida
- An Italian Holiday by Maeve Haran
- The Thousand Lights Hotel by Emylia Hall
- Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst
- Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan
- Summer at the Lake by Erica James
- The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato
- My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith
- Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
- The Hermitage by L.J. Ross
- My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
14. The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton
This book is not a romance. Even though the book is filled with love, it is more of a mystery story full of Secrets and discovery. The book will take you on a magical vacation to beautiful southern Italy!
The story follows Ellie, an interior designer, as she has to go on a work trip to the beautiful Villa Rosso, Italy. There she meets Max who she’s clearly drawn to but just can’t figure out why? Why does she feel a strange connection to Max and Villa Rosso?
13. The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson
This is the Perfect summer read book you should definitely check out if you haven’t already.
Four people – a young opera singer Delia, an American banker, a Danish physicist, and an English author, who’ve never even met each other before and couldn’t be any different from each other, were summoned to a beautiful villa in Italy for the reading of the will of the villa’s late owner.
But the thing is they didn’t know the late owner, so why did she put them in the will? What’s this about finding a codicil to the will hidden somewhere around the villa?
12. The Tuscan Secret by Angela Petch
Anna’s mother recently passed away, leaving her an old diary written in Italian along with $50,000. Her British father never allowed her to learn her mother’s language, So, she decides to take a trip to her mother’s homeland.
There she meets Francesco, a dramatic and warm-hearted Italian, and Anna enlists his help to translate the diary. In Tuscany, her mother’s homeland, Anna learns about the past and secrets that she never knew.
If you love historical fiction and have an interest in Italy, this is a perfect read.
11. The Madonna of the Mountains by Elise Valmorbida
The Madonna of the Mountains follows Maria Vittoria and her family’s struggle to survive the harsh times of war. The story starts with Maria as a little girl living in the mountains. Then she grows up, gets married, and even has four children. She spends her entire life making sure that her family is safe and happy.
This novel will takes you into the mind and heart of a woman who must hold her family together with resilience, love, and faith, in a world where the rules are constantly changing.
10. An Italian Holiday by Maeve Haran
This book will bring sunshine and smiles into your life. Angela, Sylvie, Claire, and Monica, are people who couldn’t be any more different but there’s something that they have in common, they’re troubled life and the dire need for a break.
One’s husband is overbearing, one just lost her entire company, one’s husband is cheating on her with a young girl, and one’s mother is trying to control her entire life. So, each of them decides to take a trip to beautiful Italy.
Join these four new friends on this Italian holiday as they find friendship and begin to blossom in quite unexpected ways.
9. The Thousand Lights Hotel by Emylia Hall
Kit Costa is a young woman who recently lost her mother to cancer. After losing her mother, Kit is lost in life. She begins to question her place in the world and where her life is headed. To make sense of things and to deal with the pain of losing her mother, She decides to go visit the father she had never met in her entire life.
Her desire to meet her father brings her to the Thousand Lights Hotel, the perfect holiday escape. What ensues is a story of love and friendship. Follow Kit on her journey of self-discovery.
8. Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst
Due to her career, Francesca has always had trouble making time for her daughter Allegra, so much so that now they are practically strangers to each other. But when Allegra gets arrested for illegal drug possession, Francesca may need to fix her relationship with her daughter and prevent her from going on the wrong path.
Francesca’s mother Sophia came up with the idea of a family trip to Italy. Allegra doesn’t want to go but reluctantly agrees, to make her grandmother happy. Our Italian Summer follows the three women on a healing trip to Italy.
7. Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan
Beneath a Scarlet Sky tells the true story of a forgotten hero. A triumphant and epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience during one of history’s darkest hours.
Living in Italy, Pino, a normal teenager, wants nothing to do with the cruelties of war or the Nazis. Sadly for him, he ends up joining an underground railroad where people like him help Jews escape over the Alps. While working there he falls for a beautiful widow named Anna. His love for Anna makes him work even harder in the hopes of making the world a better place.
He joins the German army after being forced by his parents. Due to some circumstances, he ends up becoming the driver of Adolf Hitler’s left-hand man in Italy. Now, Pino endures the cruelty of war to spy on the Nazis from the inside, hoping to live a good life with Anna one day.
6. Summer at the Lake by Erica James
Floriana was crushed when she got Seb’s wedding. After all, he was her one true love. Because of the thought of Seb being with someone else, Floriana wasn’t paying attention to her surroundings when she almost got hit by a car. Fortunately, she was saved by two people – Esme Silcox, a woman in her eighties, and Adam Strong, a local property developer.
Soon, the three form an unlikely friendship that is lovely to read. The book follows their story of love. The story even shows the young Esme and the love that changed her life.
5. The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato
The story follows Leonora, a half Venetian English woman who recently had a divorce and is lost as to what to do with her life. That’s when she decides to leave her unhappy life in England and move to Venice, tracing the story of her famous ancestor, a master glass-maker.
She decides to become a glassblower herself. Soon she falls for a handsome Italian man. Follow Leonora as she finds love, happiness, and the secrets of the Manin family, in this beautiful historical fiction that will bring a smile to your face.
4. My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith
Paul’s girlfriend left him and he’s experiencing writer’s block with his book. Things are a mess!!! So, his editor decides to send him to Italy for some peace so that he can finish his book. But Paul’s luck is just the worst. The rental car that was supposed to pick him up is nowhere to be seen, so, he ends up renting a bulldozer to get to his destination.
Assisting a pretty American art historian named Anna along the way, whose car is in a ditch, Paul is soon having novel experiences in the beautiful Tuscan countryside.
3. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Sixteen-year-old Lina lost her mother recently and her mother’s last wish was to have Lina know her father – a father who hasn’t been there for her for 16 years. To fulfill her mother’s wish, Lina flies to Italy to meet her father Howard.
Struggling with her mother’s death and trying to accept Howard as her father, she tries to cope with her situation for the summer.
2. The Hermitage by L.J. Ross
The Hermitage is the 9th book in the highly popular DCI Ryan Mystery Series, a police procedural mystery/romantic suspense series set in Northumbria, England.
Ryan is a Detective Chief Inspector tracking Nathan Armstrong, a serial killer, across Florence, Italy. He is the only criminal who got away from Ryan because he’s not only a criminal, he’s also an international celebrity loved by many. Follow Ryan as he races toward the surprising conclusions.
1. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Elena Ferrante is one of the most interesting authors I’ve come across in a while. This book was originally written in Italian and first published in 2012.
The story of My Brilliant friend follows the friendship between two girls, Elena and Lila. The story specifically covers the first 15-something years of their friendship. Set in the 1950s on the outskirts of Naples, it follows the two friends as they strive for greatness, wealth, knowledge, and a better life in general, in a society filled with gendered violence.
Also Check Out: One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle
This one’s really new as I’m writing this. The story is told from the point of view of Katy who recently lost her mother who was also her best friend. She decides to go on a trip to Positano, the magical town her mother always talked about. As she sees the beauty of the Amalfi Coast and experiences the wonderful food – Katy begins to heal!!!
You will love the ‘magic’ in the story. It’s everywhere! The author vividly describes parts of the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. It’s as if you’re in Positano, soaking up the Italian sun and eating all the wonderful food. The book does a great job of transporting me so completely to another place. I recommend this book to those who are looking for a quick trip to the beautiful, picturesque Amalfi Coast of Italy.