There has never been a better time to curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee or tea, or maybe a glass of wine, and a good book then now!
Travel books are a perfect way to escape to distant places and discover new destinations, cultures and flavours all while staying at home. Whether it’s outright storytelling, travel stories that offer inspiring insight to help you pinning down your next trip or travel guides, there are plenty of great travel books out there.
Below is a list of amazing travel books which I am convinced will both inspire you planning your next trip as well as simply entertain and distract you from being stuck at home.
See you in the piazza
By Frances Mayers
Bestseller author Frances Mayers, well-known for having written Under the Tuscan sun, tells the story of travelling across Italy with her husband for a year and a half. During this journey the two are sometimes joined by their teenage grandson, adding the hilarious twist of seeing the journey through the eyes of a person who is only starting out to embrace travelling and try his palate at new flavours.
The couple (or trio) discovers the many hidden places of Italy; small towns and remote locations you will only find leaving the route well-travelled aka places such as Milan, Rome, Venice and the better-known towns in Tuscany.
Travelling along with the author, you will discover awesome hotels and take a dive into the cultural and culinary delights of each of the destinations has to offer.
Should you be keen to try your hand at some of the local dishes yourself, you will also find various recipes throughout the book.
See you in the piazza is a book for everybody who loves Italy but not only. It’s almost impossible not being captured by the brilliant, colourful writing.
The book is written in chapters covering the destinations visited by Frances Mayers from north to south rather than in the chronological order the author visited these places. That way however, it allows the reader to use the book as a – very unique – travel guide as well; finding awesome hotels, restaurants and places where to shop.
Around the world in 80 trains
By Monisha Rajesh
Have you ever wondered how to travel the world by train (though you still need to take the occasional flight)? Then you need to follow along Monisha Rajesh’s tremendous adventure travelling for seven months through Europe, Asia and North America, covering 45,000 miles (72,000 kilometres).
The author will let you in the tales of some of the most famous train journeys including the Trans-Mongolian railroad but that’s almost a side note as her focus is on the people she met during her journeys.
The book is also a great story of slow travel and especially, travelling with less as all the author carried was a backpack.
By Levison Wood
Arabia by Levison Wood is a fantastic book to read if you want to learn more about the cultures of the Middle East.
Follow the author in his epic 8,000-kilometre-long journey around the Arabian Peninsula, visiting 13 different countries.
This is not your usual travel book. It’s a story of tracking though often uncharted territory including some war-torn countries and facing some dangerous moments as well.
However, the most intriguing part of the book is the people stories which are in part hilarious. Including the guy in Syria who is looking after the family hotel business in the summer when his father is on holiday but otherwise living in Sweden as a refugee.
Of course, the author does not miss to tell you about the must-visit sights as well.
So of you are the most courageous traveller not shying away from perilous moments, being hosted by locals but also visiting some of the top luxury spots (think Sir Bani Yas Island in the UAE), this is a book you need to put on your list.
Food lover’s guide to the world
Whether I am planning a weekend trip, a city break, road trip or discover a specific country, turning to Lonely Planet is usually one of my first choices. And I am never disappointed.
Food plays a huge role when travelling, and food tourism has seen a steep increase in recent years. If you too love to plan your trips around food and discovering new flavours, Lonely Planet’s Food lover’s guide to the world is made for you.
The book will tell you about the local favourites you need to taste, where the best places are to eat and shop, and which food festivals you should not miss while you travel around the globe.
Under the olive tree
By Manuela Barling-Gansser
Under the olive tree is a wonderful tale of family memories and Italian food.
The book will take you along a trip from Lugano in Switzerland, the authors hometown down to her family’s holiday home at the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, Italy.
The story she tells is inspired by her childhood memories of these places.
With a 120-year history of various chefs in the family and being herself a passionate cook this story is told through the food and recipes of these places and the authors family heritage.
As you follow her along the road you will be drawn into these memories and it’s almost like you can smell and taste the flavours and aromas the author evokes.
The books will make you want to sit outside digging into a plate of freshly made Italian pasta or some of the delectable seafood dishes from the island of Sardinia. Something you can actually do quite easily recreating some of the many family recipes included in the book.
Do you have a favourite travel book? Tell me more about it.