Picture Books Around the World: Italy

Last week, we visited Australia and Japan. Next up in our trip around the world… Italy!

Picture Books about Italy

This beautiful country is known for many things, including its history, architecture, and fabulous food! I’m part-Italian (on my mom’s side) and Italian culture has always been a part of my life. Which is probably why I had so much fun creating this list! It may also have something to do with the fact that whilst I was in Rome, I stayed in luxury rentals so I felt refreshed every day as it felt like I was at home.

This is RomeThis is Rome

Miroslav Sasek’s classic picture books are a must-own for any armchair travel enthusiast, young or old. Originally written in 1960, this book was reissued in 2007 for a new generation of readers to enjoy. Sasek’s fantastically detailed paintings and clever prose artfully describe the history, culture, and architecture of this great city.

This is VeniceThis Is Venice

A year after taking readers on a whirlwind tour of Rome, Miroslav Sasek took on another celebrated Italian city: Venice. This book is a wonderful introduction to the people and places of this gorgeous waterfront city.

Gabriella's SongGabriella’s Song

This charming tale about the power of music, appropriately set in Venice – a city famous for its music – features a young girl who hears a song everywhere she goes. Everything from church bells to pigeon wings sounds musical to Gabriella. She begins humming a tune inspired by these sounds, and soon everyone in town is singing Gabriella’s song.

Zoe Sophia's ScrapbookZoe Sophia’s Scrapbook: An Adventure in Venice

In this fictional diary, a nine-year-old girl takes a trip to Italy to visit her aunt. The pair visit museums, eat Italian food, ride a gondola, and enjoy some of the sightseeing that the city of Venice has to offer. This is the perfect book to inspire wanderlust in children, and it may even inspire them to keep a scrapbook of their own adventures!

Guido's GondolaGuido’s Gondola

Guido enjoys spending his days taking tourists around Venice in his gondola. The rhyming text and whimsical characters of this book will appeal to even the youngest readers.

Madeline and the Cats of RomeMadeline and the Cats of Rome

This modern follow-up to the 1939 classic Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans was penned by the author’s grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano. Madeline and her friends leave their schoolhouse in Paris and travel to Rome for spring vacation.

Olivia Goes to VeniceOlivia Goes to Venice

The adorable pig Olivia and her family take a vacation to Venice, full of sightseeing, gondola rides, and lots and lots of gelato. Author/illustrator Ian Falconer uses photographs of Venice as the backdrop for his hand-drawn characters.


  1. YAY!! Italy!!!

  2. Fun books for any kids who may want to know about Italy or are going to visit there soon with parents.

  3. Great list. Italy is on our travel-to-soon list. Pinned this to share with my littles before our trip.

  4. That is an awesome list Katie! I am pinning this for later! Keep them coming! 🙂
    -Reshama @Stackingbooks

  5. I, too, would love to try lots of gelato in Italy! Great post – can’t wait to check these out and vicariously go to Italy.

  6. OMG, I have to have all of these. Our favourite place in the world is Venice, apart from the Cinque Terre. Oh, the memories. Thanks so much for gathering this awesome list. I cannot wait to share them with Gigi, and once again great to join you on the Kid Lit blog Hop

  7. Wow, you’d think being of Italian heritage (even holding an Italian passport) I’d have read all of these to my toddler by now. Nope, none, but they all sound wonderful…especially Gabriella’s Song which seems like such a sweet story. This is a fantastic list (and series) and I can’t wait to share it with my Italian family and friends. Thank you!

  8. Thank you for creating such a wonderful collection of books about Italy. This is definitely a place I would like to visit. I love the covers of the first two books, This is Rome and This is Venice. I have read the Madeline books with my daughters and who doesn’t love that adventurous pig, Olivia! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Oh, we love Madeline and the Cats of Rome. What a great list, and a great idea. I wish I had a wall big enough in my house to put one of those big maps of the world and then pin every time we read a book about a new place.

  10. Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews says:

    Great to have you back on the Hop Katie – hope all is well with you and your baby girl. 🙂 I didn’t realize Olivia has made it to Italy – I love that series. It’s hilarious. Thanks for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

  11. Great collection! I look forward to introducing my newest niece to Madeline. Happy hopping!

  12. Another great list! Doesn’t Tomie dePaola have a book or two about Italy? Thanks for much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday at Mommynificent.com! Hope to see you again soon!

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