This page is all about entertainment: Books, Movies, Music...all having to do with Italy. I am listing here those things I've read (or still want to read), watched, listened to, etc. It is by no means comprehensive, and I'm making changes every month or so.
I've linked to Amazon for most of what's below. If you're interested in buying any of these books, you can follow these links. They pay me a little commission - like a referral fee. You get the same price you normally would, so it's not a ploy for you to pay extra money - unless you're buying a book you don't actually want, which I do not recommend!


Beach Music, Pat Conroy - my favorite author and this book is as lyrical as his others; set in Rome
Bridge of Sighs, by Richard Russo - on my shelf to read
Hill Towns, by Anne Rivers Siddons - this book used to be one of my absolute favorites. I picked it up to reread recently and had to quit just a few chapters in. I can't remember why I loved it so much other than I do like her lyrical writing style; but for content, it just made me sad the second time around
Home to Italy, by Peter Pezzelli - on my shelf to read
Italian for Beginners, by Kristin Harmel, cute and entertaining book set in Rome
Playing for Pizza, John Grisham - entertaining read about an American football player living in Rome
Pompeii, by Robert Harris - just read this and love it...about the area right by our house, Miseno and Baia; a fascinating look at the Roman culture, the advanced engineering, and the Vesuvius eruption - highly encourage our visitors to read it after they've been here as the whole book just comes to life
Tuscan Holiday, by Holly Chamberlin - set in Florence; quick, fun read

A Thousand Days in Tuscany, by Marlena de Blasi - on my shelf to read
A Thousand Days in Venice, by Marlena de Blasi - this one comes before her Tuscany book
The Ancient Shore: Dispatches from Naples, by Shirley Hazzard - a quick read and enjoyable after living here; I tried to read this prior to our move and put it down quickly, but once my lens changed, my interest renewed; written about a time decades ago 
Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes - read it years ago and enjoyed it
Bella Tuscany: The Sweet Life in Italy, by Frances Mayes - the follow up to Under the Tuscan Sun
Every Day in Tuscany, by Frances Mayes - an absolute gem, part travel guide, part philosophy, part cookbook, part memoir - this book covers all the bases and does it with beautiful phrasing; I highly recommend
City of Falling Angels, by John Berendt - about Venice and the La Fenice Theater; read it years ago and remember enjoying it - this is the same author who wrote Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, set in Savannah, GA
Extra Virgin: A Young Woman Discovers the Italian Riviera, Where Every Month is Enchanted, by Annie Hawes - lovely memoir of a two English sisters who end up buying a "house" in Italy 
Gomorrah, A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples' Organized Crime System, by Roberto Saviano - The name says it all; it's currently being made into a movie
Falling Palace, A Romance of Naples, by Dan Hofstadter - haven't read yet
In the Shadow of Vesuvius, by Jordan Lancaster - haven't read yet
Italian Neighbors, by Tim Parks - read this early on and picked it up at the library, not remembering I read it - so I suppose that's my review. As I started it again, I remembered enjoying it, but obviously, there was no lasting impression.
The Lady in the Palazzo, by Marlena de Blasi - on my shelf to read
North of Naples, South of Rome by Paolo Tullio, my first book I read on this region and so far, the best, at least as far as this specific area of Italy; book has been turned into a PBS series, but I haven't been able to get my hands on it yet
Passion on the Vine, by Sergio Esposito - great book and memoir with a focus on wine
Twilight in Italy, by D.H. Lawrence - on my shelf to read
There is a mystery series by Donna Leon set in Venice - readers like them, but I've yet to pick one up

100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go, by Susan Van Allen - organized by topic, not city, so it's something a little different
101 Beautiful Small Towns of Italy, by Paolo Lazzarin - beautiful coffee table book
Bed's & Blessings - Convents and Monasteries around Italy that open their doors to travelers
Eyewitness Italy & Naples - Great photos of sites; good for general knowledge; best used in conjunction with another guidebook - these are great to have as a second
Italian Hideaways, by Meg Nolan - a lush, beautiful book of ritzy places to stay around Italy
Lonely Planet, Italy - A good all-around book that covers most towns; I do not use hotel recs, and...
Lonely Planet, Naples - I don't leave home without one of these two LP books
Time Out Italy - It's pretty to browse through and gives a sort of "best of the best" listing
Rick Steves' Italy - I love all of his guides as they're filled with great, site specific info and self-guided tours, so here are links to a few more:
Rick Steves' Italian Phrasebook & Dictionary

Rick Steves' Florence & Tuscany 
Rick Steves' Rome
Rick Steves' Venice
Shopping in the Boot - fantastic guide put out by NOSC (Naples Overseas Spouse's Club) with all sorts of useful information beyond just shopping - and the shopping covers all of Europe; available only at the Thrift Store (run by NOSC) on Naval Base Gricignano

Which Guidebook Should you buy?
Okay - I have a LOT of Italy guidebooks and related on my bookshelf. I love a good guidebook. The best ones can save you eons of time in the small stuff (like where to park or where the Tourist Info office is) and leaves you time for the good stuff - sightseeing, food, drink, and all the other things you want to do other than walk around aimlessly dealing with minutia. Everyone has their own preference for guidebooks, but for me, here's my TOPS list, the ones I think are vital:
Rick Steves' books - these do not cover every town in a country or every sight in a town, but the things he does cover, are incredibly comprehensive, filled with walking tours of major sites, some history that's not boring, and usually, pretty good restaurant recommendations. And his travel gear isn't bad either - I've put to hard use a daypack I bought off his website 9 years ago, and it still looks brand new.
Lonely Planet - Yes, these used to be geared to the backpacking crowd, and they're still full of some budget recommendations, but for sheer value of information, clarity of street maps, quantity of sites covered, and most importantly for those light packers, weight of the book, I think the LPs are the best. Every trip I take, I dutifully head to the nearest bookstore, pull out every guidebook on the shelf, and then compare a few specific places from book to book. While no book can get everything right all of the time, LP wins every single time for me. I don't even know why I still bother with the comparison.
Eyewitness - Those who have mastered using the Eyewitness guides are devoted followers. For me, they're still just a good guidebook to check out of the library before a trip. If you just love books and reading about an upcoming trip, then the Eyewitness's stunning photos are great inspiration. If you want a third book to consult, this is a great support book to the previous two types.

Eat, Pray, Love - really didn't like it, but a small bit is filmed in Naples, which was neat; personally, I don't care for the pizza at the pizzeria she visits, but it's hot stuff here now; I saw the movie before reading the book, and so I wasn't motivated to read the book
It Started in Naples - 1960, Sophia Loren and Clark Gable...and mostly set on Capri; great scenery
Letters to Juliet - fairly recent, set in Verona and then Tuscany, I enjoyed it
Life is Beautiful - WWII tearjerker, excellent but keep tissues handy
National Lampoon's European Vacation - it's still funny
Twilight: New Moon - I'm a Twilight fan, so I enjoyed it; Nathan tolerated it
Under the Tuscan Sun - several years old now, but I liked it as much as the book

I've just found out that there's a Gidget Goes to Rome...must get my hands on it - Neflix, here I come.

 Andrea Bocelli - gorgeous, gorgeous voice