Romance Novels Set in Italy

Romance Novels Set in Italy — What Could Be More Romantic?

Have you been to Italy? Maybe you have. Maybe you remember the warm climate, the Italian passion for living well, the unbelievably fabulous food, and the romantic Italians themselves! Or maybe you have only armchair-traveled to Italy. But by reading, you were thrilled with the romance and soul-satisfying deliciousness of the Italian culture. So would you love to read a romance novel set in that magical world of Italy’s passion and beauty? Well, I have some ideas for you! First, my book, The Renaissance Club, is a time travel romance perfect for fans of Susanna Kearsley and Diana Gabaldon.

Are you looking for romance in contemporary Italy? One of the most enchanting novels set in northern Italy is Elizabeth von Arnim’s magical The Enchanted April. Four women in 1920s England who are dissatisfied with their loveless lives set off for a month’s sojourn in a medieval castle in Portofino. The story, called “a sun-washed fairytale” is about love in many different forms. Not the least is the love that grows between these strangers-turned-companions. Several romances blossom during the enchanted month. And the writing is as magical as the setting. If you don’t happy-cry at the end, then we can’t be friends. The movie is one I own, and recommend buying if you, like me, enjoy a good happy-cry.

Another great romance novel set in Italy takes you back to medieval Siena. Melodie Winawer’s debut travel novel, The Scribe of Siena blends a love story, art and history, and a mystery. It takes a modern-day female neurosurgeon back in time to arrive just before the Black Death devastates Siena. She finds herself in a race to uncover a 700-year-old conspiracy and to save the artist she has fallen in love with. If you love detailed historical and romantic fiction, you’ll love this one.

Leonardo’s Swans by Karen Essex is a vivid, romantic historical novel set in Renaissance Italy. The main characters are sisters Isabella and Beatrice, who each have a  relationship with Leonardo da Vinci. The setting is vivid, the characters well drawn and the story full of adventure, romance, ambition, heartbreak, and love.

Other terrific novels set in Italy:

One Summer Day in Rome

The Mystery of Julia Episcopa: A Novel of Ancient and Modern Rome

The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence




Below, I have more links to explore lesser known stories in this favorite place to find romance.

More Places to Explore Romance (Or Romantic) Novels Set in Italy

Explore Italian Culture – Romantic Books

Tale Away – Books Set In Italy

Waterstone – Books Set In Venice

Partway There – Books To Read While In Italy