Favorites, Links, Resources

Books & DVDs

(Note: if you purchase any of these items, I will receive a percentage from Amazon. Thank you!)

This online bookstore has just what you need if you are studying Italian. Take a peak–Italian readers, Italian workbooks, DVDs Books.

You can buy my book The Dog Who Ate the Truffle: A Memoir of Stories and Recipes from Umbria on this website by clicking here to purchase a personally autographed hardcover book or click on the cover below to buy a KINDLE version.

My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante, one of Italy’s favorite fiction writers. It’s about a friendship between two girls growing up during the 1950s in Naples. The characters are interesting, if not always likeable, and the culture of the rich and poor in Naples is fascinating. As soon as I finished the book, I read the next two books in the trilogy, The Story of a New Name and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. In September, a fourth book is coming out. Thank goodness. I can hardly wait to see what happens next–book three leaves you hanging!

This is my favorite dictionary! It is fat, but that’s why it really works. Thin dictionaries leave out too many words and word usage. This is winner. Click the picture to buy it now. Webster’s New World Italian Dictionary, by Catherine E. Love.

The Betrothed, by Alessandro Manzoni. A classic book translated from Italian into English.  An exciting read, requires lots of Kleenex. Takes place in 1628 in Italy. Usually the most recent translation makes for a better read–click on the cover to buy a copy of the one I read. It was great.

A World Lit Only By Fire, by William Manchester. An incredible history book about Europe–and the Catholic church in the Dark Ages to the Renaissance. Seems to be some controversy as whether the historian got his facts right–but no matter, you’ll come away with deeper insight into European history. I loved it and plan to read it at least one more time.

The Garden of the Finzi Continis, click the image to buy the DVD. This movie is a classic. About a wealthy Jewish family set in Fascist Italy at the start of WWII. An interesting movie–worth watching.

Bread & Tulips. This film is fun. If you’ve ever felt neglected by your family and spouse, you’ll love this Italian film. Watch/buy it by clicking on the image below.

Eleven Short Stories, by Luigi Pirandello. This dual-language book (English/Italian) makes it possible to read this famous Italian author in English and catch some Italian. The Italian isn’t for beginners, but the English is!

Another Dual-Language book with stories from a variety of great Italian writers. A good way to get to practice Italian and get to know important authors.

Donna Leon, author of best selling Comissario Guido Brunetti detective books that take place in Italy; light reading, but fun. Here’s a popular one:


Website and place to drive to and walk around. Beautifully restored tiny village. The family who owns it has an interesting website for the village, Borgo di Montemigiano.  I love to show friends this lovely property. While it is private, there is a tiny church and a public path behind the church. Nice place for a walk.

Driving & Traveling in Italy

I have driven ALONE from Milano to Roma–staying in many different villages and cities along the way. To do alone–or with a navigator, you need a good map. The one below is my favorite one–I’m on my third one. Click the map image to buy it.

ROME AIRPORT TO PERUGIA–take the Sulga Bus. Here’s the scoop.

FLY TO PERUGIA:  Perugia, by air.

DRIVING information you’ll  need.

DRIVING: rental car fines.


DRIVING: Road signs in Italy are different than in the USA. They can be confusing. Take a look at them before going to Italy.

TRAINS–here is the website you need. Purchase tickets online!

Websites about Umbria

Typical Umbrian products and related festivals (in Italian language)