Are you planning a trip to Italy? Looking for the best travel books for Italy?

Perfect!  If you have read any of my Italy posts you will know I am a huge fan of Rick Steve’s books.  However, I am not going to be biased in this post.  There are so many other great Italy travel books out there.

One reason why I highly recommend getting a travel guidebook is that it will help you know what the highlights of each area are and specific tips and tricks to help you navigate the area.  I also love that there are food recommendations.

Let’s explore your options and get you planning for your trip!

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Best Italy Travel Guide Books

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Best Overall Travel Books for Italy

Best Italy Travel Books

If you are planning on visiting more than one city in Italy, I recommend getting a guidebook that will cover the entire country. 

On our last trip to Italy we went to the following cities:

  • Venice
  • Florence
  • Siena
  • Pisa
  • Lucca
  • Gaeta
  • Capri
  • Amalfi Coast and Pompeii

Rick Steves – Travel Book for Italy

We wanted a book that would guide us throughout our trip.  We decided to go with Rick Steve’s Italy book and thought it was amazing. 

One thing I liked about this book is that there are insider tips to help you skip long lines.  There are also amazing food recommendations.  We tried to pick out food on our own and it was terrible.  When we opened our book and took Rick Steve’s advice we were blown away with his recommendations.  

Fodor’s Travel Guide

The Fodor’s Guide is full of pictures and maps.  If you are a visual person this book may be a better option.  However, this guide is not as in depth as the Rick Steve’s book.  It does highlight some sights, restaurants, and hotels but it is more of an overview of each area.

Best Italy Travel Books for Venice

If you are planning on visiting a specific city and then journeying somewhere else in Europe an individual guide is a better option for you. 

Venice Travel Guidebooks

Venice is an amazing place!  From the singing Gondoliers to the narrow alleyways, Venice is an amazing adventure.  What I love about guidebooks is that a detailed explanation is given so that you know exactly what to expect.  

If exploring the tops sites in Venice is a priority make sure to do your homework and plan ahead.  I recommend reading your guidebook before you actually go on vacation. 

Below are a few options that you can consider for Venice. 

Best Italy Travel Books for Milan

Milan, the capital of fashion, is located very close to the lake country.  Lake Como is one of the most popular spots to visit.  

Plan Ahead

Milan has many beautiful buildings and sites to see but did you know that you need to get tickets to the “Last Supper” months in advance?  

These guidebooks help you navigate and plan ahead for some of the top attractions in the city. If Milan is your destination these books will be your go to! 

Best Italy Travel Books for Cinque Terre

There are five towns included in the area known as Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is a rugged coastline on the Italian Riviera and consists of the five beautiful hillside towns: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.

Plan Cinque Terre

As you plan your trip to this area of Italy, knowing exactly what each town is known for and how long you should plan to spend at each stop is essential.  These guidebooks will help you plan your adventure with ease. 

Best Italy Travel Books for Florence

Florence and Tuscany offer a variety of art, food and wine, and history.  If you are looking for a broad experience, getting a general “Things to do in Florence” is a good option.  

Florence Guidebook

If you have studied art, Florence provides the opportunity for a deeper experience, and you may want a guidebook on specifically on art that you will find in the area.  For more general questions about where to stay and what to eat, a traditional guide is a great idea.  

Best Italy Travel Books for Rome

Rome is probably the most visited city in Italy.  There is history, religion, and architecture.   

Audio Tours

One advantage to the Rick Steve books is that audio tours come with them.  You can put in your headset and listen to tours that are included with your book purchase.  

This is very helpful in Rome as there are ruins such as the Colosseum and Roman Forum.  Having a guide is essential in knowing what exactly you are seeing.

Best Italy Travel Books for Naples, Amalfi Coast, and Southern Italy

I am not an author of a guidebook but one thing I know is that you do not want to drive along the Amalfi Coast unless you are a “living on the edge” type of person.  

Know Before You Go

This area of Italy is one of the most beautiful parts.  You will not be disappointed.  Reading up on this area you will find that there are ruins such as Pompeii and Herculaneum.  As well as beaches in Positano.  Knowing where to go and how to get there is extremely helpful in this area because the roads tend to be a little more dangerous.  

Best Italy Travel Books for Sicily

If you are planning on visiting Sicily, I would recommend getting a book specifically for this area.  Sicily is a little different than other areas of Italy. 

As I read the guidebook it says that petty crime is more prevalent.  If I hadn’t read that I would have never known.  

Italian Language Phrase Books

Are you nervous about not speaking the language?  Getting a phrasebook can be very helpful.  Even if it is only to read certain street signs or say a friendly hello.

If you have time, I recommend going to the library and getting some audio Italian language lessons.  

Phrasebooks come in handy when you need to catch an Uber or order food. 

Best Italy Travel Books for Transportation

There are a few ways to get around Italy.  We decided to do a combination of train travel as well as renting a car and completing a road trip.  This allowed us to see more of Italy than train travel alone. 


A Mediterranean cruise would allow for lots of coastal stops but also allowing you to see the major cities such as Venice and Rome.

Italy Road Trip

We drove from Northern Italy down to Southern Italy but did not want to take the time to drive back so we flew from Naples to Venice.  This was a great way for us to be able to see and do more with our time in Italy!  

Planning out your transportation is a great idea! 

Are you Ready to Plan a Trip to Italy?

family vacation in Italy

If you are a planner like me you will love reading and doing all the research. These are the best Italy travel books on the market.  I know you will love exploring all the pages!

Make an Itinerary 

Make an itinerary for what cities interest you most.  This is your next step.  If you want a little help I have a free complete Italy guide with itineraries for nine cities, food recommendations, and some helpful travel tips. As helpful as my guide is I still recommend getting an additional guidebook! 

Plan Your Trip

Plan Plan Plan!  Now that you have some solid recommendations go purchase one of the best Italy travel books and start reading!  This will help you narrow down what interest you most.  You will not be disappointed with Italy! Have so much fun!

Travel Italy

If you have one week in Italy it is possible to visit lots of cities.  We started in Venice with a Romantic Venice getaway. Then headed to FlorencePisa and Lucca, and SienaAfter visiting Tuscany we headed to Gaeta, Naples, Capri , the Amalfi Coast, and Pompeii.

If you are looking for another reason to visit Italy or some great Safety Travel Tip’s for Italy,  be sure to check out my other posts.

Facebook Community

If you have any questions be sure to join my Facebook Travel Community   This great community can help answer any questions you may have about your upcoming trips. Plus, I try to add any great deals or promotions that companies send me!