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madrone's avatar

Suggestions for good fiction that is set in italy?

Asked by madrone (34points) September 11th, 2007
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25 Answers

sjg102379's avatar

The Talented Mr. Ripley isn’t exactly great fiction, but it’s enjoyable, and set in Italy.

finkelitis's avatar

I haven’t read it, but you could try Wings of the Dove.

occ's avatar

Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone (sp?)

ezraglenn's avatar

I was just in Italy.
Eat, Pray, Love. By Elizabeth Gilbert
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje.

gailcalled's avatar

I have read several wonderful mysteries using Italian detectives; Michael Dibden’s Aurelio Zen series, Donna Leon’s Inspector Brunetti, Magdalen Nabb’s Marshal Guarnaccia, Andrea Camillieri’s Inspector Montalbano; and Iain Pears’ wonderful art history series. Much more fun than WINGS OF THE DOVE, in my opinion.

mdy's avatar

Under the Tuscan Sun (the movie) is fictional and set in Italy, although the book it was based on was actually a memoir written by an American , Frances Mayes.

gailcalled's avatar

@mdy; was her husband the Peter Mayes who wrote “A Year in Provence?”

susanc's avatar

Frances Mayes, Peter Mayle – remember it by Peter being Male. Both very charming, and unrelated.
A novel/set of related stores, set in Italy, a must, is Primo Levi, The Periodic Table: brilliant, intellectual, entertaining but not a summer read.

hossman's avatar

Romeo and Juliet.

kelly's avatar

The Broker, by John Grisham. Much of it is set in Italy

transplant's avatar

I quite like Thomas Harris’ sequel to Silence of The Lambs, ‘Hannibal’ – its mostly set in Florence, Tuscany.

parkmanz's avatar

i love italy and historical fiction so here are a couple renaissance art historical fictions: “the birth of venus” and “in the company of the courtesan” by sarah dunant are great, and “the passion of artemisia” by susan vreeland. “a thread of grace” by mary doria russell is a historical fiction book set during wwII and is about a jewish family escaping to italy. all excellent!

hossman's avatar

Well, Dante’s “Inferno.” Which is kinda in Italy. Or Italian Hell, at least. And the meals in “The Broker” and “Hannibal” are now making me hungry. One day I will lose the 80 pounds that will permit me to go to Italy for a year and gain half of them back. Yeah, one day.

skfinkel's avatar

I think the Sixteen Talents was set in Italy. Florence, right after the flood in 1966. Very good read.

hossman's avatar

Anything by Umberto Eco.

gailcalled's avatar

And if, as Hoss suggests, you start w. Romeo and Juliet, there is also TAMING OF THE SHREW,TWO GENTLEMENT OF VERONA. MERCHANT OF VENICE, ALL’S WELL..JULIUS CAESAR, AND MUCH AGO.

hossman's avatar

I found “Much Ado” really about nothing.

gailcalled's avatar

Hoss, I agree. It is, but in the movie, Kenneth Branaugh looks gorgeous in his off-white Ralph Lauren linen drapery, tights and that ACCENT. (You can goggle at Emma Thompson, who looks pretty gorgeous herself). Try to parse the plot of LEAR or OTHELLO. I don’t think we read most of the plays for their logical story line, or at least, I don’t. Just reread THE TEMPEST, as an example.

hossman's avatar

I’ve been in R&J, the Tempest, Merry Wives of Windsor, Merchant of Venice, and Midsummer Night’s Dream. Trying to make The Tempest entertaining to a general audience is no mean feat. I have to agree that as an actor, Branaugh wears clothes well. How Emma put up with him for so long is beyond me. I think Kenny’s turn in the Harry Potter movie is probably closer to the real Branaugh than we would ever know.

gailcalled's avatar

I saw Midsummer N’s D outside at night on the grounds of Edith Wharton’s mansion in Lenox. The last performance at that venue. The mechanicals were dressed as contemporary handymen who drove around the pine grove in a pick-up truck…and the fairies, etc literally hung from the trees and dangled from branches. Pretty groovy..

At the new indoor venue, down the road, all the scaffolding was left in place permanently and for the Tempest, the cast clambored around…whizzing down poles from the third balcony – by your face so you could feel the wind. Prospero was in a library about 40 feet off the ground…

You have certainly had an interesting collection of vocations or careers, I must say.

hossman's avatar

I don’t know whether that says something about my versatility, or my attention span.

transplant's avatar

Also Marcovaldo by Italo Calvino (Italian authur, english text)

voodoo's avatar

In the Company of the Courtesan – Sarah Dunant. Venice. Courtesan. Midget. Lovely.

mokshjuneja's avatar

If you are looking at books – Godfather, believe should be good bet, they do have references to Italy, Sicily

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