Nothing is more fun for a bibliophile than reading a book that’s set in the location you’re currently visiting. Given that Venice is a magical place in its own right, it makes it even more magical to read books set there. If you’re preparing for a trip there, headed there, or just dreaming about it, here are perfect books to read while visiting Venice.
Nonfiction Books to Read While Visiting Venice
City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
Before Italy unified, it was a collection of city-states, with Venice as one of the most dominant. This is a great survey of history and how one, small, island city came to rule much of the seas, and thus, the world.
The other wonderful thing about it is I feel it helps explain the wealth of Venice.
A Thousand Days in Venice
A travel memoir and love story, if you like the genre of “I abandoned my life to try a new one,” then this is a good read for you! The author of this book moved from St Louis to Venice to follow a guy she loved. The one thing that sets this one apart is the food descriptions (and recipes!). If you love travel, eating, and love itself, give this one a go.
The Venice Experiment
This is another one in the “I abandoned my life to try a new one,” and this one is less about love than A Thousand Days in Venice. This one is more about this couple’s adventures in and through the city. It’s a less-expansive story, but it’s an easier read with lots of descriptions of Venice!
Fiction Books to Read While Visiting Venice
The Venetian Mask
Perfect for a glimpse into the old world of Venice, told through two girls who wed into warring families.
The Venetian Betrayal
For people who liked The DaVinci Code, this is a great choice. It’s essentially a beach read, featuring a romp through a few parts of the world while solving a mystery to save humanity. You’ll enjoy how fast it moves, and the fun descriptions of areas of Venice!
One Summer in Venice
This is a perfect, somewhat-mindless novel that’s great for a beach read or a long plane ride. It tells the story of a 40-something woman who’s having something of a midlife crisis, so she’s searching Venice for what to be happy about. Love it or hate it, it’s filled with the city and some wonderful food descriptions! Perfect if you’re looking for the mental equivalent of a candy bar.
Scherzo: Murder and Mystery in 18th Century Venice
If you want to enjoy the old world of Venice, the Venice of Carnival and giant balls, this is a great book. It’s a murder mystery, so it moves quickly. It’s an easy read that does a great job of building the scenes of high-society in Venice in the 18th century.
The Girl from Venice
A WWII book about Venice, the city, and what it took to save someone from the Nazis. If you’re into WWII fiction & literature, this is a perfect read for a trip to Venice.
The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi’s Venice
This is a novel about two sisters who were orphans in Venice. It tells the story of how the grew up, and came to be at the center of Venetian society. Yet another book with vivid descriptions of the city. It builds up what it really meant to be Venetian, before Venice was simply a tourist city.
Still looking for books to read in Italy? Find books to read before visiting Florence, books to read in Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast, or just great books to read while in Italy.
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