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Four Hundred and Forty Steps to the Sea

by Sara Alexander

Nestled into the cliffs in southern Italy’s Amalfi coast, Positano is an artist’s vision, with rows of brightly hued houses perched above the sea and picturesque staircases meandering up and down the hillside. Santina, still a striking woman despite old age and the illness that saps her last strength, is spending her final days at her home, Villa San Vito. The magnificent eighteenth-century palazzo is very different from the tiny house in which she grew up. And as she decides its fate, she must confront the choices that led her here so long ago . . .

In 1949, Positano is as yet undiscovered by tourists, a beautiful, secluded village shaking off the dust of war. Hoping to escape poverty, young Santina takes domestic work in London, ultimately becoming a housekeeper to a distinguished British major and his creative, impulsive wife, Adeline. When they move to Positano, Santina returns with them, raising their daughter as Adeline’s mental health declines. With each passing year, Santina becomes more deeply enmeshed within the family, trying to navigate her complicated feelings for a man who is much more than an employer—while hiding secrets that could shatter the only home she knows.

Coffee, Chianti and Caravaggio: One Man’s Love Affair with La Bella Italia

by Robert Noble Graham

A masterwork of Italian rambling. Those who have rambled with Robert through Cuba and Spain already know what to expect, but Italy is more so. Robert rambles through great sites of Rome and Venice of course, but finding a special meal on the exclusive beach of Portofino or listening to woodworm digest a bed in the Chianti hills take a special mastery. Whether getting lost on the tourist road from Bologna or crossing to Capri with a Mafia don, Robert rambles through history, language and gastronomy as readily as the back streets of Naples for delight, color and discovery. Who did Caravaggio kill and who killed him? What did Tiberius get up to in Villa Jovis? Why are car crashes in Naples more democratic than anywhere else? How can one man who so easily loses himself when travelling be so good at finding unique, memorable companions? Sometimes alone, sometimes in company, Robert’s tales give you more color, romance and knowledge of Italy than many an expensive visit will provide. Whether you wish to laugh, marvel or learn, this book will meet the need.

Made in Naples & the Amalfi Coast: A Travel Guide To Cameos, Capodimonte, Coral Jewelry, Inlay, Limoncello, Maiolica, Nativities Papier-mâché, & More (Laura Morelli’s Authentic Arts)

by Laura Morelli

Don’t buy anything in Naples, Italy or the Amalfi Coast until you read this book! Every trip needs a souvenir. When you encounter limoncello, handmade cameos, or the famous nativity scenes of Naples, you’ll be tempted to take a part of this beautiful place home with you. But how do you know if you’re buying something authentic or falling prey to one of the region’s many tourist traps? Author and art historian Laura Morelli, a trusted guide in the world of cultural travel and authentic shopping, is here to help. In Made in Naples and the Amalfi Coast, Morelli leads you through the region’s most authentic arts, teaching you the difference between authentic master artisans and the knock-offs, and making you every tourist trap’s worst nightmare: an educated buyer. Join Laura Morelli on a journey beyond the souvenir shops into an immersive cultural experience you won’t find in any other guidebook. In this book, you’ll discover practical tips for locating the most authentic goods in Naples & the Amalfi Coast, useful information on pricing, quality, and value, a brief history of Neapolitan art, and much, much more! If you like fascinating historical tidbits, comprehensive resources, and an immersive experience into the history of Italian art, then you’ll love this fluidly written book. Bring it alongside more traditional guidebooks on your vacation and you’ll be sure to come back with the best of Italy…without getting ripped off!

The Last Supper: A Summer in Italy

by Rachel Cusk

Casting off a northern winter and an orderly life, a family decides to sell everything and go to Italy to search for art and its meanings, for freedom from routine, for a different path into the future. The award-winning writer Rachel Cusk describes a three-month journey around the Italy of Raphael and rented villas, of the Piero della Francesca trail and the tourist furnace of Amalfi, of soccer and the simple glories of pasta and gelato. With her husband and two children, Cusk uncovers the mystery of a foreign language, the perils and pleasures of unbelonging, and the startling thrill of discovery — at once historic and intimate. Both sharp and humane in its exploration of the desire to travel and to escape, of art and its inspirations, of beauty and ugliness, and of the challenge of balancing domestic life with creativity, The Last Supper is an astonishing memoir.

Cliffs of Portofino, Italy (Ryan-Hunter Series Book 5)

by Karen Donahue & Thomas Donahue

American criminology professor and former FBI agent Marin Ryan is arrested for the murder of one of her graduate students in Portofino, Italy. The police investigators are convinced by the unequivocal forensic evidence (blood, fingerprints, hair, and ballistics) that she committed the crime, so the Italian prosecutor demands a speedy trial with the probable penalty of life imprisonment. The victim’s father wants her dead and has the finances to make it happen. Her partner, billionaire computer genius John Hunter, wants her free and safe. At every turn, John, along with Marin’s family, are faced with crippling obstacles in their attempt to investigate and stop the progress of the Italian justice system. She is found guilty and sentenced to life behind the heavy, iron bars of an ancient Italian prison. John refuses to give up and through his efforts pieces together circumstantial evidence of the real murderer. It leads him to a deserted beach on Majorca, and the confrontation with the real killer. Face down in the sand, blood seeping from the bullet wounds, John’s last thoughts are of how he let Marin down.

Finding Positano, A Love Story

by William James

Three years ago Jack Campbell separated from his wife. His daughter, Maggie, wrote him a letter expressing her anger and disappointment. She was 27 then, a finance professional, and maybe should have known better than to take sides in such a private matter, maybe not. Either way, they haven’t spoken since, and her letter lay there beneath their relationship. Now, three years later, with the stress of work and difficulties in her personal relationships, Maggie goes in search of her father, a search that takes her to Positano on the romantic Italian Amalfi Coast, a picturesque town where anything can happen. What she finds in Positano might just change her life if she doesn’t leave it all behind to return to the comfortable safety of the life she already knows, fearful of the changes that can come from chance decisions.

Summer in Sorrento – Escape to Italy

by Holly Greene

Maia Connolly never expected to find herself widowed at 45. Her beloved husband died unexpectedly while restoring their 19th-century Italian farmhouse on a secluded hillside in Sorrento. Since his death, money is tight which is why Maia decides to open the farmhouse to tourists as summer accommodation. Uncertain of her business capabilities and even more of her hospitality skills, she is thrown in at the deep end when her first bookings appear and her new guests all arrive over the same week. First there’s Jacob, an attractive New Yorker of obvious Italian origin who has returned to the area to visit his ailing father. Clearly they don’t get on, as he refuses to stay in the family home in Naples. But what has caused their rift? Amelia, a shy 20-something London girl is in Sorrento for a friend’s wedding. But she seems hesitant about her connection to the bridal party. Cal and Lori have returned to Italy for their ten-year anniversary in the hope of recapturing some of the spark lost from their marriage. Will the beauty and romance of Sorrento help them rekindle their love for each other? Gradually each of Maia’s summer guests find their worries eased and hearts lightened by the beauty of this magical place….

Italy Dies

by Alex Monti

Who is trying to destroy Italy and break the European Union? Who is the mysterious British Lord living in Portofino, who receives the visit of a lethal assassin whom he loves more than his own children? Why did a prominent Colonel of the Italian Carabinieri Police steal three paintings from the Uffizi Museum? Why was he killed? Jen Lautenberg is close to obtaining the answers, but she is abducted after a secret party. Will she manage to escape her captors and save Europe? Ryan wants to escape Milan. Or should he stay and search for Jen, despite what she did to him? From Milan alleys to Monaco secret banks, from the cliffs of the Amalfi coast to a mysterious island on Lake Maggiore, chased by the Italian police forces and by two lethal assassins who hate each other, Jen and Ryan uncover an intricate web of deceptions and manipulations that is inexorably plunging Europe into irreversible chaos.

Close to Paradise: The Gardens of Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast

by Robert I. C. Fisher

This book showcases 21 of the most celebrated gardens in Italy’s most glamorous seaside getaway. They include La Reggia of Caserta, the ‘Italian Versailles’ laid out for the Bourbon King Charles III in the mid-18th century; the gardens of the Villa San Michele on Capri; and Lord Grimthorpe’s Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, with its breathtaking panoramas. The text also traces the horticultural history of Campania, from Roman emperors to Edwardian millionaires, encompassing a parade of glamorous characters that includes Lord Byron, Wagner, Chanel, Jacqueline Kennedy, D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf and Graham Greene.

Eyewitness Travel Guide to Naples & Pompeii & Sorrento Peninsula/Amalfi Coast

If the largest city in southern Italy is your destination, then get an advanced preview of its attractions with DK’s Eyewitness Travel Guide: Naples. More than 600 full-color photographs capture the splendid architecture, art, panoramas, and landscapes of this marvelous city and surrounding area. Street-by-street maps and illustrated aerial views guide you through the city’s six districts to sights such as the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, the Great Cathedral, and the Duomo. Other outstanding articles spotlight Santa Chiara, the Museo Nazionale and Park of Capodimonte, and Certosa di San Martino. Take trips by both land and water around Posillipo, the peninsula that juts out into the Bay of Naples. Beyond Naples, the handbook guides you through Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, Mount Vesuvuis, the Royal Palace of Caserta, the island of Capri, and more. From its beginnings as a Greek colony to contemporary daily life, the remarkable history of Naples is covered in a chapter complete with timelines, illustrations, and photos of artifacts from a variety of eras.