Anyone who thinks there is nothing more magical than travel has never read a good book. A good book conjures a thousand journeys in your mind. Each page an irresistible spell — binding you to another world all without moving your feet. If that’s not true magic then we do not know what is.
If you need some help becoming spellbound at home in these trying times, we suggest sinking into your couch with an old favorite. And if you don’t have a favorite now is the time to discover one.
Here are some South Tyrol flavored books that may do the trick…well magic that is.
Books You Might Like
Craving a thriller? How about a thriller paired with the thrill of the Dolomites? Beneath the Mountain is a novel from Luca D’Andrea, a gifted author from Bolzano. We both found this book an absorbing page-turner.
It takes unexpected twists and turns — cultivating a gripping mystery deep in the Dolomites. But the best part is that it snakes into your mind until you find yourself contemplating the story even when you’re not glued to the book.
We look forward to diving into the author’s follow-up: Sanctuary after we finish the next book on our list.
If you’re in a mood for something more enchanting than suspenseful, consider picking up The Dolomites and their Legends Dolomites by Karl Felix Wolff. This book is a cultural treasure brimming with the fascinating myths and legends born generations ago beneath the crags of the Dolomites.
If a hike in the Dolomites is in your future, this book will give you a new appreciation for the history of the region and how many of the mountains and valleys earned their name.
As fun as it can be to get lost in pages of text, sometimes the accompaniment of gorgeous photos is a welcome sight during your reading time. If that sounds appealing to you, then consider adding South Tyrol: Paradise in the Dolomites by Hanspaul Menara to your collection.
This gorgeous book belongs on your coffee table as much as your bookshelf. It provides an inspiring window into some of our favorite areas of South Tyrol.
During times when exploration is not possible, why not read a book about one of the world’s greatest modern explorers: Reinhold Messner. Born in Val di Funes, Messner found his unbridled passion for mountain climbing while scaling the Dolomites. He went on to conquer Mt. Everest becoming the first human to reach the summit without supplemental oxygen.
The book, Reinhold Messner: My Life At the Limit (Legend and Lore), examines the man offering insight into his explorations and drive that made him a mountaineering legend. We have not read this book yet, but it is on our list as we intend to eventually cover his mountain museums in South Tyrol.
Into true crime? Then jump into the oldest murder mystery on Earth. Journey back to the Neolithic period when Ötzi the Iceman was murdered high up on a mountain in South Tyrol. His mummified body remained lost in ice for 5,300 years.
We couldn’t resist purchasing Ötzi, the Iceman: The Full Facts at a Glance by Angelika Fleckinger after visiting the frozen corpse of Ötzi at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano. This fact-based book is filled with riveting facts and photos about one of mankind’s greatest historical discoveries.
After reading the book, consider watching a fictionalized movie about Ötzi appropriately titled ICEMAN. It hauntingly reimagines how Ötzi might have met his end. The true-to-history sets and wardrobes in the movie are remarkable to see come to life.
It’s nice to see more and more authors shining a brighter light on World War I history. One new book well worth reading on such a tragic time in history is The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front 1915-1919 by Mark Thompson. This enthralling and brutal account of what soldiers endured fighting amid the peaks of the Dolomites helps put today’s crisis into perspective.
For a novel about World War I, a must-read is All Quiet on the Western Front. This literary classic by Erich Maria Remarque is a book we return to time and time again. The gripping story of the horrors experienced by the young soldier, Paul Bäumer, makes it one of the most compelling anti-war novels of all time.
If war history does not excite you perhaps a fantasy novel will. In that case, now is a good time to reach for Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Dolomites and their many legends served as inspiration for Middle Earth and the rich characters within.
Of course, you do not have to end your fantasy journey in Middle Earth. With A Game of Thrones finally over on HBO, you can revisit the adventures in Westeros by finally reading George R.R. Martin’s sprawling saga entitled A Song of Ice and Fire.
Nothing will make you feel more like conquering a castle in South Tyrol than a sword made of Valerian steel and a medieval tavern full of ale.
Most travel guides are only captivating when you’re in the middle of planning a trip. Not The Sunny Side of Alps: Year-Round Delights in South Tyrol and the Dolomites by Paul Hofmann. This inspirational guide reads like a story.
It is written a bit like an autobiography, but the author always makes sure South Tyrol remains the star. His descriptions paint vivid pictures of the land while also giving an endearing peek into the rich history and traditions of its people.
We bring this hidden gem on every outing in South Tyrol.
A Mountain Cookbook You’ll Love
Finally, a book all mountain lovers should not be without is Alpine Flavours: Authentic recipes from the Dolomites, the heart of the Alps…especially if restaurants are closed near you. You probably have heard us rave about this cookbook before. We use it weekly.
Beautifully put together with stunning photos, Alpine Flavours will make you a pro at concocting amazing dishes and desserts born in the valleys and mountainsides of the Dolomites.
Trust us, an evening with a homemade South Tyrolean meal followed by a generous helping of apple strudel will do wonders to lift your spirits. It’s mountain food after all!
Time to Slay a Dragon
Literary giant, Neil Gaiman, once said: “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
The world now faces a dragon. And for most of us, the best way to beat this beast is by staying home. Let a good book be your anchor and arrow. The little bit of magic within will do a mountain of good.
Each time your wanderlust feet ache to leave your house, pick up a book. Cracking open that binding will be like one more shot through the dragon’s heart.