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Alumni Travel Reading Lists 2020: Portrait of Italy

Portrait of Italy

History and Culture


Ancient Ruins

The Colosseum

Small group of people looking out on the stone ruins of a large amphitheater.

The Colosseum, Rome by Vince O'Sullivan used under Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC 2.0

Documentary on the history of the Colosseum - Colosseum: Rome's Arena of Death by the BBC 


Selected and Annotated By:

Joe Holub, Librarian for Italian Language and Literature 

Revised by Mia Capozzoli, Liaison Services
Edited by Rebecca Stuhr, Director, Liaison Services

For more information, visit the Penn Alumni Travel Website.

Italian Cuisine


Interior walls and archways of a church painted with religious figures and Latin text.

Vatican by Geoff Stearns used under Creative Commons License CC-BY 2.0

The Vatican: Its History, Its Treasures includes photographs and descriptions of the art and buildings that make up Vatican City as well as a detailed history of the Vatican, the smallest country in the world. 

Italian Architecture

Art in Italy

Italian Fiction


Fashion Documentaries:

Artisans of Italy - An insider look at the famous fashion houses of Italy including Fendi, Ferragamo, Missoni and Dolce & Gabbana

The Silk Road - Explores Venice and Lake Como to dive into the history of the Silk Road in Italy and the impact it has on the region today

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