Discover Sicily through the best 15 books


In the age of blogging and social media, books are hardly ever read anymore.

Regarding travels, we often look for information or travel itineraries simply by searching among the infinite proposals that the internet offers. Just a click away.


But what if instead of the classic travel guides, we’d like to discover something more authentic and perhaps not so common to find? Something that only in the pages of a book can we really discover?


When it comes to really immerse yourself in the culture and stories of a place, the best thing to do is to search for books which let your mind blow, in search of dreaming places, experiences and emotions.


If you wish to visit Sicily or you have already visited and have fallen in love with, we offer here a selection of books on Sicily and “Sicilianity”: books on the history of the region, its culture and traditions, on natural beauties and also about its amazing cuisine.




150+ beaches in Sicily 


Sicily is entirely washed by the sea and its coasts extend for hundreds of kilometers giving crystal clear waters and breathtaking landscapes. From the places of classical myths to those of Inspector Montalbano, passing through those who made history, this guide will take you to the 150 most beautiful beaches in Sicily.


sicily beach


Etna. Sentieri raccontati by Giuseppe Riggio 


Every part of Etna preserves human memories, evidence of ancient and recent eruptive activities and naturalistic singularities. Those who practice hiking know that the meaning of walking does not lie in putting one foot after the other, but in immersing yourself in places, a physical and mental experience at the same time. In this book the author - even before describing the itineraries - narrates the paths and tells their stories: an invitation to visit 'a Muntagna and fall madly in love with it.




Sicilia in cucina. 80 ricette della tradizione (e non)


In this book, we find all the gastronomic culture of Sicily in 80 recipes, accompanied by splendid photographs. Sicily in the kitchen, however, is not just a simple recipe book, but a real journey into the Sicilian culinary art. Traditional and innovative recipes with valuable suggestions on combinations with local wines. There is also an entire section on Sicilian aromas.


Sicilia. Continente gastronomico. I grandi chef e la tradizione

“It is an island of spirits, where too much of everything accumulates, and we have to deal with this wealth: we must be up to it and then know how to use it with grace. We must, every time, create the enchantment. Why did you come to Sicily? For the promised charm. Why are you returning to Sicily? Because I was enchanted. "


This is a book about land, sea and men, and about recipes. A book by Francesco Pensovecchio with photographs by Benedetto Tarantino and a preface by Simonetta Agnello Hornby.


sicily food


Borghi di Sicilia. Atmosfere, cultura, arte e natura


The villages of Sicily are like forgotten treasures: if only you are lucky enough to find them, they reveal surprising glimpses that have kept their uncontaminated splendor. A volume of over 300 pages published by Dario Flaccovio and edited by Fabrizio Ferreri and Emilio Messina.




Breve storia della Sicilia


John Julius Norwich, as well as a historian, had been a documentary maker and travel reporter. His way of writing also had as an indispensable purpose a form of entertainment, that of enthralling the reader in accounts of the past that were "interesting and pleasant to read" and aimed at the search for a "meaning". 

It is the search, in two thousand and five hundred years of history, for an explanation of his passion for Sicily, since he first met her and felt he had made a discovery that would accompany him for his entire life. 


Storia mondiale della Sicilia


In 4500 BC Lipari already produced volcanic glass, exported throughout the Mediterranean. From this first trace, at the dawn of human history, Sicily presents itself on the world stage as a place where peoples, cultures, politics, goods converge and radiate. It almost causes a sense of vertigo to look at the depth of its history, the richness, complexity and variety of these millenary sediments. This book tries to get into it by choosing decisive events, well-known and lesser-known characters, books, goods, and foods. By overturning pre-established maps and bringing to the center what until now had been left on the sidelines.


Forse non tutti sanno che in Sicilia... Curiosità, storie inedite, misteri, aneddoti storici e luoghi sconosciuti di un'isola dalla cultura millenaria


Curiosities, unpublished stories, mysteries, historical anecdotes and unknown places of an island with a millenary culture.


Did you know that spaghetti does not come from China at all and that the first pasta factory in history was born shortly after the year one thousand in Sicily? And that the mummy of a little girl who opens and closes her eyes is preserved in the catacombs of Palermo? These are just some of the curiosities that you will discover by reading this book. Many little known events to reveal, small and large curiosities about the places, the artworks, the people and the recipes that made this land so magic. 


Le incredibili curiosità della Sicilia


Sicily is vast and contains all kinds of contrasts: sea and mountains, sun and snow, splendor and poverty, history and innovation. Stale and dusty land, now rich and luxuriant, this island was the home of Gattopardo book masterpiece and several famous families who brought this beautiful world to the center of the Mediterranean. Understanding it means putting aside preconceptions and rumors, traveling from city to city with the eyes of the tourist hungry for curiosity, food and jokes, ready to grasp the signs of change coming from the younger generations who they profitably dedicate themselves to wineries, to textiles, to the discovery of the rich biodiversity of the territory and of ancient grains. What does it really mean to be Sicilian and to live on an island suspended between past and future?


Stories and curiosities in the book:


Tifeo. The giant under the Etna

Moor's heads. 

'U Liotru and Eliodoro

The Black Madonna

The Amazon Madonna

And Christ in a skirt in Scicli

Erice and the procession of the mysteries of Good Friday

The theater of Andromeda

Argimusco, the Stonehenge made in Sicily

Cuseni House.artists' house

Simenon in Messina and Syracuse

Caravaggio fugitive in Sicily

The revolt of Filicudi against the mafia

Peppa, the gunboat

Maria Costa. The poet who became a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Women who tell the story of Sicily




Sicilia. Ettari di nettari (Sicily. Hectares of nectars)


This book is dedicated to those who love to travel in search of unusual places characterized by beauty, hospitality, good wine and excellent food. The volume is organized in geographical areas and will present the most exclusive wineries in the Sicilian territory. The author takes us to discover the island on a journey along the wine roads, through natural parks and numerous cities of art. The itinerary winds through colorful rows of vines, farmhouses, historic residences, traditional estates and large rural complexes immersed in nature in search of the best wines of the local tradition. 

Within the volume, particular attention is dedicated to the wineries of the Etna region that are gaining worldwide recognition: from Tasca d'Almerita to Franchetti, from Planeta to Tenuta delle Terre Nere, to Graci and many others. For each province, a visit to the best chef in the area is also recommended, for an unmissable trip.




I leoni di Sicilia. La saga dei Florio


There was a family that challenged the world. A family that has conquered everything. A family that has become a legend. This is his story. From the moment they landed in Palermo from Bagnara Calabra, in 1799, the Florio family looked forward, restless and ambitious, determined to reach higher than all. To be the richest, the most powerful. And they succeed: in a short time, the brothers Paolo and Ignazio make their spice shop the best in the city, then start the sulfur trade, buy houses and land from the penniless Palermo nobles, create their own shipping company ... And when Vincenzo , son of Paolo, takes up Casa Florio, the impetus continues, unstoppable: in the Florio cellars, a poor man's wine - marsala - is transformed into a nectar worthy of a king's table; in Favignana, a revolutionary method of preserving tuna - in oil and in cans - relaunches its consumption ... In all this, Palermo observes with amazement the expansion of the Florio family, but pride is dissolved in envy and contempt: those successful men still remain "strangers", "porters" whose "blood stinks of sweat." Palermo does not know that a burning desire for social redemption lies at the basis of the Florio's ambition and marks their life for better or for worse; that the men of the family are exceptional individuals but also fragile and - although they cannot admit it - they need to have equally exceptional women next to them: like Giuseppina, Paolo's wife, who sacrifices everything - including love - for the stability of the family , or Giulia, the young girl from Milan who enters Vincenzo's life like a whirlwind and becomes his safe haven, the unassailable rock. Stefania Auci unravels a family saga of incredible strength, so lively and pulsating that it seems contemporary. 




Miti e leggende di Sicilia (Myths and legends of Sicily)


Through an engaging style, the book tells some of the best known stories that since the Greek era have enveloped the largest island in the Mediterranean in an aura of mystery and charm: the sensitive love between Aci and Galatea, the amazing journeys of Ulysses and the meeting with Polyphemus, the passionate female figures such as Proserpina and Arethusa, the legendary Colapesce and many others.


Il Gattopardo 


The book is set in Sicily, at the time of the Bourbon, a family of the highest aristocracy of the island while the new times are already pressing. Centered almost entirely around a single character, Prince Fabrizio Salina, the novel offers a living image of Sicily, animated by a brisk and very modern spirit, widely aware of contemporary historical and political problems.


La Mennulara


Since "La Mennulara" was printed in 2002, Simonetta Agnello Hornby has always thought that she would return to the novel for further study and to add lost chapters populated with images that have remained engraved in his memory: those unpublished pages have finally been reconstructed and now they reinforce the machine of the story, the atmosphere of the narration, the profiles of some characters. 

Roccacolomba, Sicily, 23 September 1963. Mennulara, aka Maria Rosalia Inzerillo, a maid of the Alfallipe family, of whose patrimony she has always been a prudent administrator. Everyone talks about it because they know and don't know, because there are those who hate and curse it and those who remember it with gratitude. In this edition, entirely revised by the author, Mennulara is more sensual, the depths of atmosphere and the connections to the Sicilian society of the early Sixties grow. The spiral of comments, post mortem, on the good or bad conduct of Mennulara - the real engine of the narrative - makes use of a few more voices, in support of the psychological complexity of the protagonist and of the society in which she acts.




IL CANE ​​DI TERRACOTTA, Andrea Camilleri


We mention here one of Camilleri's best sellers who have brought South-Eastern Sicily into vogue in recent years.

In Il Cane di Terracotta, the investigator Montalbano returns: during an investigation into an arms trafficking, inspecting a cave that serves as a warehouse for ordnance, Montalbano discovers a passage that leads to another cave, and here finds two corpses: a boy and a girl killed fifty years earlier. Obeying the overbearing instinct that drives him to seek a faded and perhaps elusive truth, Inspector Montalbano begins an unlikely investigation, which seeks to reconstruct events apparently not destined to land in a courtroom


Isula Travel - Mediterranean passion

Hope you enjoyed this nice short list of books and last but not least, we remind you of our exclusive selfie spot guide LA BELLA VITA by Isula Travel.

The most beautiful places to take a selfie and collect unforgettable moments. Download the guide here.


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