Reading for the Road:
Books About Puglia
We at The Slow Road answer to many names (wanderers, bon vivants, students of life) but first and foremost, we’re a group of dedicated travellers. We’ve put together reading lists, which include books about Puglia —from novels to great guidebooks—that have really opened up our favourite regions. Many of these works capture the special qualities of a particular region and will provide you a much deeper sense of history and its people.
Must-Read Books about Puglia
The definitive portrait of the Italian people, this is a classic, scholarly essay on the Italian character. Though first published in 1964, it’s still worth reading for its insight, grace and wit.
A Traveller’s History of Italy
A brief history of Italy through the 1990s — wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed. With a useful chronology and historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.
Casa Rossa Francesca Marciano A vivid novel following the lives of a mother, daughter, and granddaughter from Puglia over the course of the 20th century, opening as the narrator prepares to sell Casa Rossa, the family farm.
Christ Stopped at Eboli, The Story of a Year Carlo Levi | Frances Frenaye An affecting memoir of southern Italy, originally published in 1947, it stems from the author’s forced relocation to the region as punishment for anti-fascist political activity.
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind Beppe Severgini Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.