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8 coffee table books about Italy to evoke ‘la dolce vita’ spirit at home

It doesn't get much sweeter than this.
Ed Anderson via Gourmet Traveller no. 1017.

Aperols at aperitivo, splashing about the deep blue and halcyon days spent under the Tuscan sun – these may be some of your imagined or lived vignettes of la dolce vita, baby.

Though, the sweet air of an Italian summer can somehow still be smelt from another life and hemisphere – you need not to be sailing off Capri or sipping vino in a Sicilian vineyard to feel its warmth.

Sometimes, a taste of travel and awe can be found right within the crisp pages of a hardcover coffee table book.

So that you can get a whiff of that languorous Mediterranean spirit at home, we’ve curated an edit of some of the best Italy coffee table books that capture the essence of la dolce vita.

The best coffee table books about Italy

Capri Dolce Vita by Cesare Cunaccia, $170, Assouline

Capri, the fabled island with ancient allure has long been heralded paradise by literary greats, filmmakers and jetsetters alike. Capri Dolce Vita gives sweet insight to the resort destination throughout the ages.


La Dolce Vita by Slim Aarons, $82.75 (usually $120), Abrams

La Dolce Vita documents the adoration the iconic photographer felt for Italy over multiple decades and trips. The fourth volume of the Slim Aarons collection includes an introduction by Christopher Sweet, and features bucolic scenes from the Sicilian countryside to striking villas to portraits of society’s ‘it’ people.


Sicily: Wines and Wine Routes by Samuele Mazza, $92.75 (usually $140), Rizzoli International

Organised by wine-growing areas, this book offers a wholesome guide to Sicilian wine tasting – from farmhouses to traditional estates across the culturally and environmentally diverse island.


Great Escapes Italy: The Hotel Book by Angelika Taschen, $68.95 (usually $100), TASCHEN

Vignettes of la dolce vita are aplenty within this book that highlights the eternal nature of Italy’s beauty – depiciting leisurely scenes from the Locanda Cipriani to the island of Torcello.


Florence: The Paintings and Frescoes by Ross King and Anja Grebe, $68.90 (RRP $89.99), Little Brown

Featuring the works from the likes of Renaissance greats such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Rembrandt, Florence is an A to Z of Firenze’s paintings and frescoes found in museums and churches. An art history buff must-have.


Italy by Gray Malin, $48.80 (usually $65), Abrams

From retro scenes of sunkissed beach goers on the Italian Riveria to the dramatic coastline of Cinque Terre, Gray Malin’s Italy celebrates the coastal landscapes and lifestyles found in the timeless country.


A House Party in Tuscany by Amber Guinness, $48.80 (usually $65), Thames and Hudson Australia

Featuring seasonal menus as well as recipes for classic dishes, cocktails and feasts, A House Party in Tuscany celebrates the simplicity of traditional Italian home cooking within the Tuscan countryside.


The Monocle Book of Italy by Tyler Brûlé et al., $70.90 (usually $100), Thames and Hudson

As a follow up to The Monocle Book of Japan, this Italian volume highlights the enigmatic charm of the nation’s design, architecture, food, fashion and culture – oozing nothing but passion and sweetness.


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