This is not your typical guide book to Italy. Yes, it points you to wonderful, often overlooked gems throughout Italy. But it is the writing itself that makes it unique. It is personal and clearly written with love. It brings you into the feel of the country, not just it's sights which makes it a wonderful read whether you're in Italy or at home.
See You in the Piazza by Frances Mayes ($27.00*, Crown), recommended by Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.