Cover for Summertime


By David Lean
Star Rating

Rated by Zachary C
Jul 12, 2022

I cannot convey the excitement felt seeing this film get added to the library collection as a result of a newly restored version of the film being released on DVD.  Summertime is such a beautiful film.  Director David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago) turns the camera to the city of Venice.  The city itself is one of the main characters, and it is beautifully captured and displayed on screen.  American tourist, Jane Hudson (Katharine Hepburn), is finally taking her dream vacation to Venice.  Jane has not been lucky in love, but as she explores the city and

A Room with a View

By E.M. Forster
Star Rating

Rated by Heather B.
May 13, 2017

I'm a regular reader of classic literature, and I've enjoyed Merchant-Ivory films based on E.M. Forster novels in the past, so I'm not sure why I had the impression that his work was stuffy. Imagine my surprise when I found myself laughing out loud while listening to the audiobook of A Room with a View--and actually describing it repeatedly to one of my friends as "hilarious." 

In the first half of the novel, Lucy and her Aunt Charlotte are visiting Florence, and their lives unwittingly become entangled with those of their fellow English travelers, particularly an unconventional father and

Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life

By Frances Mayes
Star Rating

Rated by Sarah As
Aug 11, 2015

If you’re a fan of Frances Mayes and  her Tuscan adventures, and even if you read this one when the book came out in 2010, I recommend listening to it on audio. In her southern Georgia drawl, Mayes narrates the third installment of her life in Italy after buying and renovating a dilapidated Italian farm house. Every Day in Tuscany is the third of her Cortona tales, following the ever popular Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany.

Here, she shares stories of the Italian countryside and the people she has grown to love, the food, wine and art she has enjoyed, and the home and garden that have

Beautiful ruins

By Walter, Jess

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Aug 21, 2014

Beautiful ruins is a remarkable love story that spans decades and two continents. Pasquale, a young Italian who is trying to make his family's humble hotel marketable to American tourists, is struck by a beautiful American tourist who comes to stay. Her name is Dee Moray and she has been diagnosed with stomach cancer while filming Cleopatra and has been sent to Porto Vergogna - Pasquale's small fishing village - to rest before going for treatment in Switzerland. She is waiting for another man to come take care of her but finds a much-needed friend and confidante in Pasquale. A friendship that

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Jul 3, 2013

The sun.  The coast.  You are luxuriating in the beautiful descriptions of Porto Vergogna, Italy.  But then  an American actress enters  Pasquali Tursi’s family pensione —the Hotel Adequate View.   She enters and leaves mysteriously and we spend the book searching for the beautiful Dee Moray. But in this idyllic setting we become involved in a cast of characters who are not beautiful.  They are flawed, searching, trying to make it through their version of life.  That search takes us from World War II to the present, from Italy to America and back again in a journey that is pure fun.  In Beauti

Aug 28, 2012

Donna Leon, an American living in Venice, is the author of several popular crime novels with Commissario Guido Brunetti as the main hero.

The main characters of the series, mild-mannered and witty inspector Brunetti and his exemplary family, together with the depiction of the magical beauty of Venice, are an obvious and sharp contrast to the world of corruption and criminal energy residing behind the Venice's centuries-old walls. Leon describes the everyday infrastructure of the city that tourists don’t see.  So pervasive is the hot and humid weather on the Venetian canals that it could be

DVD Come Undone (Italian)

By Silvio Soldini

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Apr 7, 2011

This contemporary Italian film depicts everyday people dealing with everyday problems. It tells a touching love story of two people who met each other too late in life. Prior to their first brief encounter, they each live a comfortable life in Milan.  Later, an innocent flirt turns into a deep relationship which lives in secrets, lies and hidings.  The film measures the day-by-day emotional cost of the affair to satisfy the irresistible attraction. The couple  living just for their short Wednesday escapes, away from the reality of screaming kids, nagging wife, an inattentive husband and

Juliet by Anne Fortier

Rated by Diane H.
Nov 1, 2010

Juliet by Anne FortierJuliet is both a modern and historical retelling of Shakespeare’s classic tale, “Romeo and Juliet”. The story weaves back and forth between a present-day Juliet searching for a family inheritance in Italy and a 14th-century Giulietta defying a family feud to be with her Romeo. The later is supposed to be the real inspiration for Shakespeare’s classic story, set in Siena instead of Verona. You don’t have to be a fan of Shakespeare to enjoy this debut novel; a love story, historical fiction, tragedy, mystery, and thriller all rolled into one enjoyable novel.

Playing For Pizza by John Grisham

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Oct 30, 2010

Playing For Pizza by John GrishamI have always enjoyed reading books by John Grisham. The King of Torts is one of my favorites probably due to my interest in tort law while attending college. The Broker is also a favorite. In that book, he describes Bologna, Italy in such colorful detail and realism that I could probably find my way around without having actually been there. In the book, Playing for Pizza, Italy is again the setting although this time it is mainly the city of Parma. This city is famous for its Parmesan cheese.

Rick Dockery, the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, was held responsible for

Brava, Valentine By Adriana Trigiani

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Jun 12, 2010

Adriana Trigiani is an award winning author of popular romantic fiction. This book introduces us to the life of Italian-American Valentine Roncalli. Valentine is a beautiful single woman, who recently inherited a successful shoe business and fell in love with an Italian man. (Yes, it is a romance book, after all…..) The story takes us from Greenwich Village to Tuscany and Buenos Aires, as Valentine tries to expand her family business and keep up her long-distance relationship at the same time. The book has funny parts with several colorful characters, and some Italian phrases to practice your