Books set in Tuscany


New member
I'm going for my first visit to the region this summer and wondered if anyone had any tips for fiction set in Tuscany?


New member
I've found two so far on Amazon which I've bought, one a factual account 'Under the Tuscan Sun' by Frances Mayes, and one a novel, 'The Past Lies Waiting' by David Treanor. Any other suggestions welcome!


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Hello Bookworm,

There are so many, here are just a few... I know I've read several more but can't remember the titles specifically, will have to come back and add them later :).

"Under the Tuscan Sun" has also been made into a movie... I have not read the book so don't know how it is, but the movie is a bit "romanticized" ;). It is great for the scenery! Frances Mayes also has another book called "Every day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life".

Probably a bit better is "A Small Place in Italy", by Eric Newby

Some more:
"A Room With a View" and "Where Angels Fear to Tread" by E.M. Forster
"Decameron" by Giovanni Boccaccio
"The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri - this is definitely not easy reading but has shaped history
"I, Mona Lisa" by Jeanne Kalogridis
"The Birth of Venus" by Sara Dunant
"The Savage Garden" by Mark Mills
look into books by Magdalen Nabb - there is an entire series of mysteries set in Florence with Marshal Guarnaccia
"The Agony and the Ecstasy" by Irving Stone - about Michelangelo - read great reviews about it, have yet to read it.
"The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci" by Dmitry Merezhkovsky
"A Florentine Revenge" by Cristobel Kent
"A Tuscan Childhood" by Kinta Beevor (then you can go visit the Fortress in Aulla yourself)
"Restoration: A Novel" by Olaf Olafsson
"Scandalous Secret, Defiant Bride" by Helen Dickson
"The Golden Hour" by Margaret Wirtele
"Passion of Artemesia" by Susan Vreelang
"Brunelleschi's Dome" by Ross King (historical, not fiction but offers great insight into the artist)
"Up at the Villa" by Somerset Maugham
"Vanilla Beans e Brodo" and "Bel Vino" by Isabella Dusi - of the area around Montalcino
"Crossing to Safety" by Wallace Stegner
"The Monster of Florence" by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi - being made into a movie of a series of real murders committed around Florence late 60's-early 80s

If anyone can add any others, please do so! :)


New member
Gosh, thanks Lourdes what a great list! Not sure I'm up to The Divine Comedy -- more into suspense/thrillers! -- but several of those look really interesting. I will investigate!:)


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
I know, even I haven't attempted Dante's Divine Comedy but as you go around Tuscany, there are stone plates all over the place marking the specific lines from the Divine Comedy related to that place.... he seems to have been all over the place!

There is also the Merchant of Prato by Iris Origo as well as her War in Val d'Orcia that even if historical give great insight into the region and its rich history.

There are really a lot but for suspense/thriller, I heard the Magdalen Nabb books are great as well as The The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone and Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreelang.


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Had never heard of that site, thanks for sharing! I'm seeing several recommendations I'd like to read ;-)
The one about the Palio (Daughter of Siena) sounds very interesting.

Oh - A Florentine Death by Michele Giuttari is one I was trying to remember to add to the list. It was so so, not spectacular.


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Dan Brown

It also seems Dan Brown's latest thriller is set in Florence titled Inferno... just came out like yesterday but definitely getting it to read and will let you know what I think :D


New member
I just finished "Orphan of the Olive Tree." It's an historical romance set in medieval Siena. It was pretty good!


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Thank you for the recommendation, Duchesse, I'll add it to my list on want-to-read books!

For anyone reading Dan Brown's Inferno, I suggest following the dash across Florence with this photo-heavy itinerary/review I just posted on the main site ;-). Enjoy!

Places of "Inferno" in Florence


New member
My books

Hello. At the risk of being relentless and shameless, I'd like to recommend my six books, all set in Tuscany. It's a series, starting in WWII and ending in 2000, with the same characters and settings, a small village and Florence. The website is

Here are the books:

The Cielo, A Novel of Wartime Tuscany
Sparrow's Revenge: A Novel of Postwar Tuscany
Dino's Story: A Novel of 1960s Tuscany
The Temptation of Father Lorenzo: Ten Stories of 1970s Tuscany
A Piazza for Sant'Antonio, Six Novellas of 1980s Tuscany
The Fearless Flag Thrower of Lucca: Nine Stories of 1990s Tuscany

and thanks!

Paul Salsini