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Perfect Summer Reads Based in Italy

Is there anything better than being whisked away with a perfect summer, beach read that is also based somewhere in Italy? Talk about wanderlust. I always have a book on my bedside table that teaches me something about my love for Italy or enthralls me with a story about the old-world charm of the Italian countryside, cities & villages.

Today, I’m rounding up a few of my recent favorites and also a few books I’m looking forward to reading soon!

Links below are affiliate links – meaning I get a small kickback if you use them at no additional cost to you. It’s a win/win!

Images taken in Lake Como, Bellagio, & Varenna Italy

Sail boat in Varenna Lake Como

The Perfect Summer Reads Based in Italy


1. True Story Summer Read Based in Italy:
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes.

It’s truly one of my top books of all time!

The ultimate foodie, interior design & Italian scenes you can’t get enough of! I so loved learning about her journey in purchasing & renovating an Italian Villa – Villa Bramasole in Cortona, the Arrezzo province – and the humorous anecdotes throughout.

Not to mention, pretty nostalgic to read about adventuring abroad in the early 2000s and the fond references to days of using guide books, printed-out maps, and using pay phones. A delicious read!

NOTE: The movie is painfully disappointing (and introduces romances that didn’t even, remotely, exist?!) but all the more reason to appreciate the book. A fun movie on its own, however. Just shouldn’t be equated with the book because of the crazy amount of made-up liberties they took with a true story. 

 

Italian Villa garden in Lake Como Italy captured by Wedding Photographer Pattengale Photography

2. Idyllic Summer Reads Based in Italian Countryside: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Even though it’s massively famous, this one took me a long time to get through. However, I found it to be a pleasant palette cleanser I would pick up between books that makes it a quiet “reprieve” of sorts and really enjoyed the reliability of the ups & downs of traveling, finding yourself, and loving again.
 

Street Artist Painter paints Lake Como Italy landscape scene captured by Pattengale Photography

3. Clean Romance Summer Beach Reads based in Italy: Dreaming of Florence by T.A. Williams

+ ANY of the books in his series. They are like Hallmark movies but with a few twists, you don’t see coming each time.

Somewhat cheesy, definitely sappy, and such a fun, light read that I find them addicting! I feel slightly judged anytime I recommend them but have gotten to the point of just accepting the fact that no matter how “fluffy, lovey” the story, I’m 100% here for those details.

I also appreciate that he can get a love scene across without becoming overly graphic.

He keeps things breezy instead of uncomfortable. IYKYK.

4. Summer Evening Reads – Eating Through Italy’s Cities & Quaint Towns: See You In The Piazza by Frances Mayes

Taking you through each little nook, alley, & off-the-map towns, Frances Mayes does it again by painting a delicious scene with each page!

I found this book to be the perfect escape right before bed instead of scrolling on my phone.

No one chapter builds upon itself & each takes place in a different town. Consider it like a food blogger’s diary with some humor & recipes sprinkled throughout!

Wedding Villas to Visit in Lake Como Italy Vacationing in Varenna Italy in Lake Como region

Italian Based Books on My Reading List:

  1. From Scratch by Tembi Locke comes highly acclaimed from Reese Witherspoon Book Club recommendations.
  2. Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes — because can she ever do wrong when it comes to inviting you into the everyday, beautiful life of living in Italy?
  3. The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman also recommended in various book clubs.
  4. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante also comes highly rated as being an author that once you’ve read this first book you want to devour every other work thereafter. And I’m here for that kind of energy in my life.

Honorable Mentions:

  • The House of Gucci by Sara Gay Forden— I just watched the movie with Lady Gaga and OMG, just wow. I’m sure the book is also really good, I just don’t usually read books to movies I’ve already seen. I prefer to do so the other way around (seeing a movie after I’ve read the book).

 

Consider taking any of these books with you on your next destination or vacation and let me know how you liked them!

I find that summertime begs for more lighthearted experiences whereas in the winter I enjoy a deeper, richer story. If you have any recommendations of books you’ve enjoyed, DM me on Instagram and let me know!

Always,

–Tara M

As an award-winning destination wedding photographer, Tara takes a relationship-focused approach for each unique wedding celebration. For Inquiring about your wedding date, please email at hello@pattengalephotography.com or inquire here for details.

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Villa & Garden in Lake Como Italy Town in Varenna Italy near Lake Como

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As a young girl, I kept a journal and then when Stephen and I got married, we wrote our vows into a journal we shared as a couple. On this lil’ corner of the internet, I want to invite you into our virtual journal’s stories and musings.  I hope you’ll find encouragement and inspiration along the way. You can expect a mixture of our recent photography work & adventures, lifestyle tips, current obsessions, and personal stories of us behind the scenes too! I’m so glad you’re here!

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