Children’s books about Italy

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When planning trips abroad I love to prepare my kids by reading up as much as we can about the places we’re likely to visit.  These children’s books about Italy are some that we have personally owned and loved and others that are well reviewed and I wish my kids were young enough to enjoy again!  I hope you like the list.

Children’s books about Italy

The following books about italy for kids are separated into different sections.  We have picture books for younger kids, non fiction books for those of us who just like to devour facts, chapter books for independent readers and also a section at the end for learning Italian with kids.


Picture books about Italy

There are some really wonderful picture books about Italy on the market these days.  Some are about visiting the country itself and some are about historical figures from the country too and are suitable for older kids.  Here’s some favourites:

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This is Venice

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This is Venice is another wonderful book in the series by M Sasek.  I love the quaint old fashioned drawings, the book is originally from the sixties!  It tells about some of the wonderful sights to see and is perfect to prepare kids for a trip to Venice.

If you’re looking for children’s books about Rome then This is Rome is also available!

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here



Gabriella’s Song

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Gabriella’s Song is a picture book set in Venice and is a simple story about not just the city, but also about music.  Suitable for all ages.

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here




Escape from Pompeii

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Escape from Pompeii will be an excellent read to prepare kids for a trip to the ancient site that was famously buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted.  Told from the perspective of a survivor and wonderfully illustrated this book will really help to see what life was life at the time of the eruption.

For more information, reviews and to buy this book on Amazon click here



Pippo the Fool

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Pippo the Fool is set in Florence and tells the story of Filippo Brunneleschi who was the architect who designed the dome on Florence’s magnificent cathedral.  If you’re visiting this city it will definitely bring an extra dimension to help children appreciate the wonderful architecture of the city.

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here



Galileo’s Leaning Tower experiment

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This looks like it’s out of print now, but can still be bought second hand.  If you’re off to the town of Pisa you’ll no doubt want to introduce your kids to the story about Galileo’s experiments from there.  Even if they might never have happened it’s fun to learn about!

Check Amazon for more information, reviews and to buy this book



Leonardo and the Flying Boy

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Leonardo and the flying boy is set in Italy where it tells the tale of 2 young boys who are apprentices to the great Leonardo da Vinci.  It weaves a wonderful story that is full of facts about the life and time of the great artist and inventor.  This is part of a wonderful set of books by the same author that we loved when my kids were younger about artists.

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here


Starry Messenger

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Starry Messenger is a picture book that is more suitable for a little older kids.  It tells the story about Galileo Galilei who had a turbulent life.  Although he was the first to think that the Earth was not the centre of the solar system and did experiments to prove it, it wasn’t received well by the church and he was imprisoned.  A little bit of a sad tale, but an interesting one about one of Italy’s great men of history.

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here



Non Fiction Books


Rome and Romans (Usborne Time Traveller)

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If you’re visiting Rome and would like to show your kids what the ancient city was like then this Usborne book would be perfect.  Usborne books are really child friendly and can be dipped into as much or as little as you’d like.

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here



The Orchard Book of Roman Myths

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If you’re looking for Ancient Rome books for kids then the The Orchard Book of Roman Myths will be an excellent addition.  By understanding and learning about the myths the people held at the time we can also come to appreciate some of their lifestyles in that time.  This is a great book with many myths and it has beautiful illustrations too.

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here


Italian recipe books for kids

If you’re looking for some Italian recipes for kids then these books are worth checking out.  Nothing like a bit of food to make you learn about a country!

Let’s Cook Italian, A family cookbook

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Let’s cook Italian would be a great book to have alongside you if you’re also learning the language because it’s also in Italian.  It’s aimed at kids and has some fantastic recipes inside like Spaghetti Carbonara, bruschetta and many more!

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here



The Silver Spoon for Children: Favourite Italian Recipes

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Including 40 authentic Italian recipes and aimed at kids over 10, this Italian cook book will get any family ready for their trip!

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here



Chapter books

If you have independent readers and want to finds some children’s books set in Italy, these are some that we’ve enjoyed or had recommended to us.


Roman Mysteries Series

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There are many books in the Roman Mysteries series and if you have children interested in that period of history and want to learn about it before a trip then these books might be good to dive into.  They are suitable for ages 9 +

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here


Daughter of Venice

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Daughter of Venice is a story for 10+ set in 1500 Venice about a young girl whose future lies in a convent.  Before she’s taken to that life she decides she needs to see the real Venice.

This is on my bookshelf and I’m going to be reading it myself before we head to Venice next year!

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here


The Thief Lord

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Another chapter book set in Venice and aimed at kids aged 9-12 years.  The Thief Lord is about two young kids who run away from Hamburg to Venice and become street kids and a life of crime awaits.  This is an excellent book to read aloud as a family too.

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here


Books to help learn Italian for kids

If you’re looking for Italian resources for kids to learn the language:


Cool Kids Speak Italian

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Cool Kids Speak Italian has been designed for primary school aged kids.  Using puzzles, worksheets and colouring pages it brings the language to kids in a fun way.

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here


Italian for beginners

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Another Usborne book that is fantastic.  Italian for beginners has all the familiar illustrations that Usborne is known for with useful phrases to learn using comic strips.  Don’t be surprised that it’s also a good one for adults to use to learn Italian, but the way it presented makes it easily as good for kids to pick up.

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here


Am I small?

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Italian picture books are a great way to introduce the language in a less formal way than lessons.  We used them a lot while learning Spanish, even when my kids were probably a bit old for picture books!

There does seem less choice for Italian bilingual books, but there are some about.  This one comes highly recommended and seems simple enough for beginners (and is also available in other languages too).

For more information, reviews and to buy this book click here

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Kirsty Bartholomew

Kirsty has been getting lost around the world for over 30 years and writing about it for 10 of those. She loves to help people explore her favourite places in Scotland, England and beyond. She cannot stay away from historical sites.

4 thoughts on “Children’s books about Italy”

  1. Thank you for these suggestions, I have ordered the Corneila Funke book as inspiration for our upcoming trip to Venice. I would also recommend ‘Jo Jo the Melon Donkey’ by Michael Morpurgo for younger readers. It is a sweet picture book that is beautifully written and illustrated and set in historical Venice.


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