by Rachel Roddy
( Hachette Australia, $ 50)
Now this is food writing. British-born Rachel Roddy deserves comparison with the late, great Elizabeth David. Her two kitchens are in Rome and Sicily, and from there she upholds traditions, captures oral culinary history, and ensures that family recipes are preserved and updated for contemporary, non-Italian home cooks. There’s a whole chapter devoted to peaches.
THE UNFINISHED PALAZZO: LIFE, LOVE AND ART IN VENICE
by Judith Mackrell
( Thames & Hudson, $ 45)
Here’s a page-turning account of three unorthodox 20th-century women, all former residents of the Venetian Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, now known as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Marchesa Luisa Casati was known for keeping a pet cheetah; Doris Castlerosse hosted a dazzling array of guests, including her paramour Winston Churchill; and Peggy Guggenheim turned it into an art lover’s temple.
DOMUS: A JOURNEY INTO ITALY’S MOST CREATIVE INTERIORS
by Oberto Gili and
Marella Caracciolo Chia
( Hardie Grant, $ 125)
Italian photographer Gili and design journalist Chia team up to reveal an intimate portrait of some of the country’s most imaginative creative talents through images of their homes — an eclectic mix that ranges from Tuscany to Turin. These rooms are the result of people living with an obsession for art, design and culture, and show us yet again that style cannot be bought.
THE ITALIAN GENTLEMAN
By Hugo Jacomet
( Thames & Hudson, $ 90)
In the north of Italy, one finds men’s jackets to be structured, with clean lines. In the south, they are much looser, often without lining. The author takes a three-year journey to discover quintessential Italian men’s style, celebrating both the beauty and the heritage of handmade suits and shirts. He examines the fabrics, artisans, workshops and designers that contribute to their outstanding craftsmanship.
RIVER CAFE 30
( Penguin Random House, $ 55)
Co-founders Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray and head chefs Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Trivelli have compiled 30 years’ worth of recipes, stories, photographs and menus decorated by the likes of Cy Twombly, Damien Hirst and Ellsworth Kelly — all documented in a tribute to one of the most famous Italian restaurants outside Italy. Yes, the book includes the Chocolate Nemesis recipe.