Here’s what we’ll be browsing while lying in the sun
There’s something to be said about the utter joy of reading a book on vacation. Taking the time to lie horizontal for a few hours – over a chic beach towel, of course – to get lost in a novel or browse a beautiful volume of photos/ history/ you name it is a guaranteed way to achieve total relaxation, and embrace slow summer living.
Books can transport us to far-away places, inspire us, and give us plenty of food for thought. They’re perfect escapism – and on holiday, that’s exactly what we’re after.
In need of some recommendations? Below, we’ve put together a list of what we’ll be bringing to the pool and on the beach over the next few weeks. From dreamy titles to engrossing art tomes, add these little gems to your suitcase (with the perfect outfits to match) and prepare to be carried away.
Best for : Pelli-World Lovers
Il Pellicano has long been considered one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. This book of beguiling photographs by camera masters John Swope, Slim Aarons and Juergen Teller gives you a glimpse as to exactly why. Spanning three different eras, the featured images capture the playful yet elevated atmosphere of this modern-day dolce vita retreat, as well as the jet-setting lifestyle of those who frequented (and continue to) it, from Emilio Pucci and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. to Britt Ekland, Kenneth Tynan, and Susanna Agnelli. It’s a gorgeous visual chronicle of a slice of Italy, and a reminder of the hotel’s timeless appeal.
To fully immerse ourselves into it, we intend to read it by the pool of Il Pellicano, wearing a straw hat and a loose silk shirt as tribute to evergreen Italian summer style.
Best for : Serious Italophiles
Those keen to immerse themselves in Italian culture should absolutely pack this handy (quite literally) booklet into their totes. A tongue-in-cheek explainer of Italian gestures and their different meanings by artist and designer Bruno Munari (have you checked out his tees?), it’s like a fun language crash course – with the added bonus that you don’t need to sit in a classroom, but can do all the learning under your umbrella.
Best for : Art and Design Buffs
More a coffee table than a beach read, we’ll browse Vera Roma when we’re back in our hotel room, possibly as we sit on the balcony with an Aperol Spritz. A beautiful photography book conceived by art consultant Damiana Leoni, it maps the work of eight independent art spaces distributed across seven districts in Rome, to showcase the creative wealth of the Eternal City, and its many, wide-ranging artists. Insightful and intimate, it’s a mandatory read for anyone wanting to delve into Italy’s contemporary art scene beyond its most obvious sights.
Best for : Art and Design Buffs
If reading on a beach can be transportive, reading a book on scents and perfumery on the beach is almost otherworldly. Our sense of smell is a getaway to the intangible realm of imagination, and perfumes the doors to get there. In this pretty encyclopaedia of scents by Giorgia Martona, readers are taken through the medicinal properties, olfactory facets, curiosities and myths of 60 ingredients across each olfactory group, with stunning illustrations to boot.
Your nose will be even more adept at recognising all sorts of fragrances after you read it.
Best for : Bookish Wanderlusters
Looking for a lighter read to bring on the spiaggia? Then Yolo Journal is just the thing. A crossover between a dreamy travel magazine and a meticulously curated guidebook, this quarterly publication takes you across the world with beautifully reported features and amazing photography, so that you can start planning your next trip as you sit by the pool. For lovers of the printed page and travel-obsessed adventurers, it doesn’t get better than this.