If you're researching your next trip to Tuscany, how about a little cinematic and literary inspiration? From the film adaptation of Frances Mayes' iconic Under the Tuscan Sun to an 800-page biographical novel about Michelangelo, check out these books and movies set all or part in Tuscany. You can find more insider tips on one of Italy's most popular regions in our latest issue of Bellissimo, the Tuscany edition.
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Best Books Set in Tuscany
Tuscany has served as the setting for many a literary work, from insightful historical tomes to thrilling page-turners and period romances. Here are some of our favorite books that take place in Tuscany.
- Cucina Tipica: An Italian Adventure - Italy Magazine contributor Andrew Cotto’s novel on finding Italy, one meal at a time
- A Room with a View - E.M. Forster’s classic romance contrasts Edwardian England with Italy at the turn of the 20th century.
- The Birth of Venus - Bestselling author Sarah Dunant’s captivating tale of a young girl caught in the romance and upheaval of 15th-century Florence
- Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture - Ross King’s meticulously researched account of how the mighty dome of Florence took shape
- Under the Tuscan Sun - Frances Mayes’ 1996 memoir launched a thousand dreams of picking up and moving to Tuscany.
- The Agony and the Ecstasy - Irving Stone's nearly 800-page biographical novel about Michelangelo remains a riveting account of the man and his times.
- Invisible Women. Forgotten Artists of Florence - Journalist Jane Fortune uncovers centuries of “hidden” artwork in Florence’s churches, museums and archives.
- In Love and War - Alex Preston’s 2014 novel explores shifting loyalties and forbidden love in WWII Florence.
- Inferno - Another fast-paced thriller from Dan Brown, this time set in Florence, Venice and Istanbul
- The Monster of Florence - Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi’s harrowing true-crime story of Italy’s most notorious serial killer
Favorite Films Set in Tuscany
It’s hard to make a bad film when you’ve got Tuscany as your stage. Wartime dramas, fun romantic spins and even vampire sagas have been filmed in Tuscany. Here are some of our top picks.
- Tea with Mussolini - Cher, Judi Dench, and Maggie Smith star in this sweeping tale of love and resilience in wartime Florence.
- Life Is Beautiful - Roberto Benigni’s poignant, multi-award-winning comedy-drama about a Jewish-Italian father and son in a Nazi concentration camp
- Inferno - Film adaptation of the Dan Brown novel is a rollercoaster ride through Italian history and art — plus there’s Tom Hanks!
- A Room with a View - A young Helena Bonham Carter stars in this British coming of age costume drama, based on the novel by E.M. Forster.
- Under the Tuscan Sun - This creative adaptation of Frances Mayes’ ubiquitous memoir is a gorgeous, playful romp.
- Stealing Beauty - After a tragedy, a young woman travels to Italy in search of love and a deeper connection with herself.
- Amici Miei - A 1975 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Mario Monicelli featuring the adventures of four inseparable friends
- The English Patient - A ruined Tuscan monastery is the backdrop for this epic, award-winning saga of doomed love.
- Twilight: New Moon - The second film of the guilty-pleasure vampire series has scenes in Montepulciano, which stands in for Volterra.
- Hannibal - Everyone’s favorite serial-killer cannibal calls Florence home in this sequel to The Silence of the Lambs.