Candida Martinelli's Italophile Site

Main Page This family-friendly site celebrates Italian culture for the enjoyment of children and adults. Site-Overview



Several Bestselling Italian Writers and Their Books






Rome Mystery

Short Stories - Dual Language Collections Below


Italo Calvino

Niccolò Ammaniti

Umberto Eco

Giovanni Paolo II

Margaret Mazzantini

Tiziano Terzani


My Two New Italophile Sites

Italophile Book Reviews offers personal views on many books that might interest lovers of Italy.  Authors and Publishers:  I review books set in Italy, or about Italy and Italian culture, or about hyphenated Italian culture.  My site is family-friendly. Indie (Self) published books, and small publishing houses are welcome.  Contact:   info @

Italophile Books is an linked shop that has only products Italophiles are sure to love.  Shop with no distractions!  You can click through to the full site at any time, keeping your shopping cart.  Checkout is through's usual secure system.






























































The authors I feature here have been on the bestseller list in Italy for over the past two years, some even longer.

Not all of their books are translated into English, but at least one of each has been translated.  

Some of their books have been made into films.  So keep your eyes open, and you may see them at a theatre near you.

All of these authors are available from Amazon.comI've made lists of the Amazon offerings for you to consult, to see what's available, at what price, and what others say about them.  Just click on the text below each author's entry or on the book ad


Italo Calvino

Italo Calvino is probably the most known Italian writer outside of Italy, and for good reason.

From  "One of the warmest and gentlest collections of stories by Calvino, and one of the most grounded in the real world. Lovely and elegant prose that lolls in your imagination like a story whispered into your ear on late spring day."

That quote was written about Difficult Loves but it beautifully describes the attractions of Italo Calvino's writing:  the human warmth, the gentle spirit, the intimate knowledge of life, graceful prose, a stunningly fertile imagination, and the sheer, soothing pleasure of reading his work.


Niccolò Ammaniti

Niccolò Ammaniti was born in Rome in 1966. He is the author of three novels, as well as a collection of short stories. At thirty-four, he was the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Viareggio-Repaci prize for I'm Not Scared which has been translated into twenty languages and is now a film. 

One of his books is I'll Get Hold of You and Carry You Away (Ti prendo e ti porto via).  Here's this, from the book jacket:  The sea is there but you don't see it from Ischiano Scalo, a town of four houses next to a mosquito-ridden lagoon.  This is the scene in which two tormented love stories take place.  Pietro and Gloria are two young people.  She is the daughter of a bank director; he is the son of a psychopathic herder.  She is beautiful, confident and a bit arrogant; he is timid, unsure, a dreamer.  And yet a strange feeling that curiously resembles love attracts them to each other...  After years away, Graziano Biglia returns to Ischiano, a worn-out playboy.  He meets Professor Flora Palmieri, a woman alone and mysterious who everyone in town keeps at a distance.  They would seem to belong to two very different universes, but deep down it is actually their opposite poles that create the sparks, so...  The puppet-master narrator, the manipulator of destinies, Ammaniti creates and disposes of coincidences, ready to capture every instance of comic or unsettling aspects of reality.  I'll Get Hold of You and Carry You Away is a tender and cruel epic of the discovery of the world, and of the long injury that is childhood.

Another book is I'm Not Scared (Io non ho paura).  Here's this, from the jacket:  In the silence of the Puglian countryside, a group of children play in a field of grain.  One of them, Michele, discovers an evil that exists, that is terribly real, and it is worse than the worst nightmare that any child can possible imagine.  It's now a film in international release.

And his third book, also on the bestseller lists, is Mud (Fango), described this way:  The new, grotesque heroes of the young, urban, who are at the same time out of control and conformists, banal and unpredictable while pretending nonchalance, or passing off a modest ambition for a savage delirium.

The author has a website.  

My list of this author's books at


Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco broke into the worldwide bestseller lists with the erudite, semiotic, historical mystery The Name of the Rose (Il nome della rosa), later made into a film starring Sean Connery as the Holmesian monk.  His other big seller was Foucoult's Pendulum (Il pendulo di Foucoult).

Queen Loana's Mysterious Flame (La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana) is his latest bestseller.  It's the story of a man who reawakens without his memories.  So he goes back to his childhood home, and rereads his past, learning things about himself that perhaps he'd already forgotten before his illness.

My list of this author's books at


Giovanni Paolo II

The late pope is the author of many books, including books of poetry.  They all hit the bestseller lists in Italy, where he was considered an adopted 'Italian'.  His last book, Memory and Identity (Memoria e identità), is still there. 

It's described as:  The last long-awaited book by Giovanni Paolo II in which the Holy Father deals with some of the big historical themes, in particular the ideologies of totalitarianism, like communism and fascism, and provides answers to the most profound questions of our lives.

My list of this author's books at


Margaret Mazzantini

Margaret Mazzantini was born in Ireland to an Irish mother and Italian father and lives in Italy with her husband, the director Sergio Castellitto.  She is also an accomplished actress.  

Her book Zorro was written as a monologue for the author's husband.  Her book Don’t Move (Non ti muovere) won Italy’s most prestigious literary prize, the Premio Strega. It is the author’s second novel.  Random House site for this book in English.  It is now a film, starring her husband and Penelope Cruz.  

The author has a very creative website.

My list of this author's books at


Tiziano Terzani

Mr. Terzani was a journalist.  In 1976, a Chinese fortune-teller warned Tiziano Terzani, a correspondent for “Der Spiegel” in Asia:  “Be careful.  In 1993, you run the risk of dying.  In that year, don’t take any airplanes”.  

In 1992, Terzani was tired, doubting the value of his work.  He recalled the prophesy, and saw it as an opportunity to see the world through new eyes.  He decided to not take an airplane for one year, but without giving up his job.  

The result of this experience is the book A Fortune-Teller Told Me (Un indovino mi disse), that is a combination of an adventure novel, an autobiography, a travel story, and journalistic reporting.

And his book In Asia:  'The author writes about his Asia and the ties that he has made with the most mysterious and contradictory of all the continents.  The voice of the journalist and that of Asia intertwine in this book that is autobiographical, journalistic reporting, a history of customs, and an adventure story.'

His latest bestseller is Un altro giro di giostra.  It's described as:  A long voyage in the world to fight his cancer.  Tiziano Terzani tells of his itinerary for a cure in far-away countries and cultures.  It's not just a travel book, but also a journey to his inner-self, spiritual, and wise.

You can read an article from the Telegraph written at the time of the author's recent death from cancer.

My list of this author's books at


Search Books

If you want to see other authors, then you can use this Search tool.  

Just enter 'Books' in the 'Search' field, and the author's name in the 'Keywords' field.  Then click on the 'Go' button to see the full list, people's comments on the books, and the prices.

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Also see my pages:

Thrillers set in Italy

Mysteries set in Italy

Mysteries set in Ancient Rome

Non-fiction books about Italy

Romances set in Italy

Children's Books

Historical Novels set in Italy




Short Stories - Dual Language Collections