5 Books for the Armchair Traveller

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Casole d'Elsa, near the renowned Castello di Casole resort - A typical view of the hills of Tuscany

Book this. Can’t make it to Europe, but still dreaming of a trip to the continent? Grab one of these classic destination-centric books, as chosen by Zoomer‘s resident traveller, Vivian Vassos.



The Hills of Chianti: The Story of a Tuscan Winemaking Family, in Seven Bottles. Scion Piero Antinori pens this memoir about his oeno-dynasty, the Antinori family, considered by many as the First Family of winemaking in Italy. He follows 27 generations of a familial love of the vine. It will drive you to drink – Chianti, of course – in a good way. (For more on Tuscany, see Club Culture.)

Falling in Honey: How a Tiny Greek Island Stole My Heart. Ah, the Mediterranean. Greek Islands, food, sun, sand, wine, wonderful people and more food. The best things in life may just be in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and the author Jennifer Barclay takes on a glimpse of what life’s like on the little known, diminutive island of Tilos. A tale of self-care and the power of being good to yourself. We say Opa! to that.

Paris Letters: One Woman’s Journey From the Fast Lane to a Slow Stroll in Paris. Writer Janice MacLeod weaves a story about finding love and freedom in a pen, a paintbrush and the City of Light, after cashing it all in from the rat race of corporate life. Great, dockside or beachside. It may not be Eat, Pray, Love, but who cares? It’s Paris, mais oui.

Berlin: Imagine a City. OK, so this may be less romantic than Greece, Italy or France, but this is a city that’s always been informed by its own unique personality. Over a period of five centuries, the Canadian author Rory MacLean intertwines artists, architects, forward-thinkers and evil-doers as disparate as Bowie, Deitrich, Isherwood and Schinkel (yes, there’s Goebbels and Hitler, too, but what history of Germany is without it?) to create a singular portrait of the city.

Mediterranean Cookbook: Fresh, Fast and Easy Recipes. This beautifully illustrated book contains over 300 authentic recipes from the culinary regions of Spain, Provence, Tuscany, North Africa and the Middle East. Truly delicious destinations. Edited by Marie-Pierre Moine.