Italy History for Travelers

View from San Leo Castle, Le Marche, Italy
View from San Leo Castle, Le Marche, Italy

Destination: Italy

Book: A Traveller’s History of Italy by Valerio Lintner

I am absolutely, deliriously infatuated with the publishing company called Interlink. With 616 books  that are dedicated to World Travel listed on their web page, it seems that you can go anywhere, with any interest and they’ve got you covered. For years, I have been buying their Traveller’s History series for European countries I visit.  And I have never read one of them all the way through.

Instead, I dip into the parts that have relate to my particular destinations. After all, in the Italy book, it takes twelve pages just to list a chronology of important events.  I do not need to know about every important event, and if I tried to learn I would just be hopelessly confused. So I like to go to the helpful Gazetteer, which lists cities or regions, and refers to important events and what page to go to for more information. Then I go back to read those pages, and generally, wander around through the centuries and the regions until I am lost.

If, as I travel, I see the name of Pope Calixtus III and can’t recall what family he belonged to or when he reigned, I can refer to page 233, Popes of the Renaissance, and learn that he was part of the famous Borgia family and ruled from 1455-1458.  And did Luca della Robbia come before or after Fra Angelico? Page 235 lists Italian artists from 1200-1600 in order of their years of birth. Fra Angelico 1387-1455 and della Robbia 1400-1482.

But that is just the wealth of information in the appended pages. The first 229 pages take us from cave men to current day or in my case when the fifty edition was published in 1998. There have been three editions since then, and the latest is 2008. But since “current history” takes up fewer than ten pages at the end of the book, you’re safe to buy a used copy if you wish.

How about a standing ovation for Mr. Lintner who managed to cram all the confusing and overlapping history of Italy into a mere 229 pages?

Photograph by Vera Marie Badertscher. All rights reserved.

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

6 thoughts on “Italy History for Travelers

  1. My dream trip: Italy. But I have two very specific islands I want to visit. Venice would be nice, but I want to go where the glass and lace are made.

    I’ll see if this publisher has a book about that.

  2. I’m delighted to find this blog–the reading choices of my book group are often dictated by the travels of our members–I’m bookmarking your site as a great resource for us.


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