On the hop or travelling long haul, it’s fun to have a great novel to read on the way, to set you in the mood. Rick Stein always recommends great reads. “The City of Falling Angels” sparked my desired to visit Venice; “True Pleasures” was another treat to boost the travel urge. Check out some suggestions below. Books provide you with a wealth information and will make your travels more enlightened.

Venice, Italy  

The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt. This novel revolves around the famous Fenice Theatre when it went up in flames in 1996. It’s a most enjoyable, enlightening read which transports you straight to Venice and provides an intriguing insight into the lives of the American and English expats residing there at the time.

Paris, France

True Pleasures: A Memoir of Women in Paris by Lucinda Holdforth is a captivating, sumptuous read. Each chapter focuses on a woman in history whose life is inextricably tied to Paris, for better or for worse. Too good to put down.

Buying a Piece of Paris: Finding a Key to the City of Love by Ellie Nielsen prepares you for the foot slogging you’ll have to do if you’re thinking about buying a property in Paris. Easy read and very entertaining.

The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott. Highly recommended for history buffs. Travel back in time to 1815 and immerse yourself in life during post-revolutionary Paris.

Provence, France

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. It’s a must for every Francophile, especially travellers who love the south of France. An oldie but a goodie. First published in 1989 this novel is one that you can re-read time and time again.

Provence, a region in southeastern France bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea, is known for its diverse landscapes, from the Southern Alps and Camargue plains to rolling vineyards, olive groves, pine forests and lavender fields. To the south is the Côte d’Azur (or French Riviera), where the elegant city of Nice and glamorous resort towns such as Saint-Tropez and Cannes line the coast. 
The Vine Garden by Alex Dingwall-Main. Grab a glass of wine, sit back and soak up this inspirational gardening travelogue through the gardens of France.
Fez, Morocco
A House in Fez by Suzanna Clarke. A must-read (especially if you’re planning a trip to Morocco). Provides wonderful insight into the daily lives of the author and her partner, and their experiences renovating a dilapidated house in the Moroccan town of Fez.
Italy
The Last Book about Italy by Anne Rickard. A totally irreverent, humorous account of the author’s travels from the lakes in Northern Italy to Tuscany and Umbria, Marche, a detour to the Adriatic Coast, then finally back to Sorrento and Rome. Anne’s husband is the perfect foil for her light-hearted travel tales.
Rome, Italy
When in Rome by Penelope Green. Wish this book had been written when I was younger! It’s an absolute treat to read. Bravo Penelope – you are an inspiration for us all. We all should be living la dolce vita.