Books are the perfect companions when you are stuck at home during the current corona lockdown. Just make yourself comfortable in your favourite chair, take a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and your next trip to Venice is only one book away. For this list, I selected 11 books, some which have been written a long time ago whereas others are brand new. You can choose between suspense and romance, you can watch beautiful pictures or you can start to plan your next ‘real’ trip. Click on the cover for more information or if you want to order the book online.
I finally read this amazing book, which was already published in 2006. I just couldn’t put it away and read it in a few days. It is the fourth in the Nic Costa detective series. As their exile in Venice draws to a close, Roman detectives Nic Costa and Gianni Peroni are ordered to investigate a fire in a glass foundry that has claimed two lives. All they want is to wrap it up quickly. However, as they dig more deeply into the insular glass-making community on Murano and the strange Arcangeli family, things don’t quite add up.
Even though it was first published in 1974, this thriller filled with conspiracies, secrets, and danger is still a gripping mystery. Julia Rivers’ life fell apart after a whirlwind marriage to the love of her life. She found herself trapped in a family filled with secrets. When she was nearly killed, Julia fled with her unborn child. Now, years after giving her newborn up for adoption, Julia receives bizarre letters from an anonymous sender – the latest containing a picture of a boy that is unmistakably hers. Urged to find her son, Julia is sent a one-way ticket from London to Venice.
The Republic of Venice created the world’s earliest centrally organised state intelligence service. Based in the Palazzo Ducale and under the direction of the Council of Ten, the organisation served prominent intelligence functions including operations, analysis, cryptography and steganography, cryptanalysis, and even the development of lethal substances. If you ever wondered how these intelligence operations were managed in Venice, then you will love this research. It is written in a clear and engaging narrative for both academic and non-academic audiences.
Two impossible love stories, one in late-Renaissance Venice and one in present-day America, are intertwined in this romantic debut novel. Rose works as a book restorer when William brings her a sixteenth-century art book. She discovers a hidden diary that had purposely been scraped away. It tells the story of Giovanni Lomazzo, who fell in love with the enchanting courtesan of one of Venice’s most powerful military commanders. Yet the restoration sparks an unforeseen challenge when William—a married man—and Rose experience an instant, unspoken attraction.
If you are looking for an entertaining escape with a bunch of suspects chasing a woman across the labyrinth of narrow streets and canals, then you will enjoy this book. During her Venetian trip to participate in an international art exhibition, Carla Romano brings along her deceased friend’s ashes. But is that all she has in her tote bag? The FBI, Venetian police, and a gaggle of misfits believe Carla is the bag lady of five million dollars in stolen diamonds. Slipping into her designer shoes, Carla sets out in the city to solve a diamond caper with plenty of twists and turns.
This historic novel is a story of passion, music, ambition, and finding the strength to both fall in love and to carry on when it ends. Adriana d’Amato adores music, but her father forbids her to play the violin. At night, she sneaks out of her family’s palazzo to take lessons from Antonio Vivaldi. What begins as secret lessons swiftly evolves into a passionate love affair. However, her father wants her to marry a wealthy, prominent member of Venice’s patrician class.
Laura Morelli has written many books about Italy and artisans and family bonds. In this book, she tells a tale of art, love, and the plague in 16th-century Venice. Maria Bartolini wants nothing more than to carry on her father’s legacy as a master gilder. Instead, her father has sent her away to train as an apprentice to Master Trevisan, a renowned painter. Maria arranges to leave the painter’s workshop to return to her family workshop and to a secret lover waiting for her back home. But the encroaching Black Death foils her plans.
I love reading Orna’s blog posts, so I was very curious about her first novel which is filled with intrigue, romance, and suspense. Orna knows Venice very well so the story about 2 beautiful women will make you feel as if you were there. Olivia has everything: a handsome husband, a thriving interior design business, and a privileged life in Dublin. Jane is married to an Italian aristocrat, who seems to devote his life only to their young daughter. But, when misfortune and tragedy strike, they both end up in Venice and fight for the love of the same handsome, blond gondolier.
I received this beautiful photography book as a present last year. Every time I look at it, the stunning pictures of the extravagant interiors and secret gardens make me dream about Venice. The book takes you behind the fabulous facades of the palazzos to explore its grand interiors and local cuisine. Besides the anecdotal text and the colour photographs of private interiors otherwise not open to the public, it also includes recipes from Venice and the surrounding Veneto region.
Following the advice of one of my loyal followers, who has been traveling to Venice over the last 35 years, this is the finest of all travel guides when you arrive and want to get to know the city. The book really captures the spirit of Venice, so it’s highly recommended if you want to do more than scratch the surface of this remarkable place.
For all my trips abroad, I always rely on the Lonely Planet. Even for Venice, which I know quite well by now, I can’t resist buying a new edition from time to time. This edition has been published in January 2020. It gives you the perfect background information to start preparing your trip to Venice, whether it’s your first visit to this amazing city or you have been numerous times.
If you want to discover more novels set in Venice or books dedicated to our favourite city, you can browse my other posts with book tips. If you have any suggestions for additional titles, feel free to add them in the comments below.
PS: Several links in this post are affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you order a book.