Yeah yeah, I know.

“Who has the time to read a novel on vacation?”

TRUST ME you do have the time! Especially if you’re at the beach, lying down on your sun bed.

Plus, every trip should have its own novel, am I right?

(I really hope you nodded your head).

Whether it’s before  going to sleep, while you’re laying on the beach or maybe on your cruise ship’s private balcony, reading is truly a great way to unwind. And if you’re not sure which novel to take with you, let me help you out!

These are 6 of my all-time favourite novels:

1. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats – Jan-Philipp Sendker

novels to pack in your suitcase

This is my all-time favorite novel. I read this on my trip to Santorini.

It’s a novel about adventure, love, hope, self discovery and passion. While you read it, a whole new world will open up. Expect a rush of emotions.

“I have often wondered what was the source of her beauty, her radiance. It’s not the size of one’s nose, the color of one’s skin, the shape of one’s lips or eyes that make one beautiful or ugly. So what is it? Can you, as a woman, tell me? 
I shook my head. 
I will tell you: It’s love. Love makes us beautiful. Do you know a single person who loves and is loved, who is loved unconditionally and who, at the same time, is ugly? There’s no need to ponder the question. There is no such person.”


2. A Well-Tempered Heart – Jan-Philipp Sendker

novels to pack in your suitcase

This is the sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, but you can also read it if you haven’t read the first one. Again, I thought the first couldn’t be matched, but this novel is simply outstanding. It’s AS outstanding as the previous one.

“What do violent individuals fear most? Violence? I should say not! By what do the cruel and selfish feel most threatened? All of them fear nothing as much as they fear love.”


3. The Alchemist – Paulo Cohelo

novels to pack in your suitcase

This novel is a mind and heart opener. I read this while I was in my summer beach house in Sabaudia. It’s a novel of self discovery and hope. It helped me so much in a difficult period in my life. A must.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

4. The Angel’s Game – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

novels to pack in your suitcase

What an amazing novel.  I read this book when I was on a cruise around the Mediterranean, on my Princess Cruises private balcony.

Zafon has the power to interwind everything and to perfectly fit all of the puzzle pieces together. A fantastic novel, a mystery. You will devour this book.

“I stepped into the bookshop and breathed in that perfume of paper and magic that strangely no one had ever thought of bottling.”


5. The Zahir – Paulo Cohelo

novels to pack in your suitcase

A fabulous novel about a spiritual journey, a contemplation of the life of the character. An inspirational novel. I read this when I was in Cala Piccola, in Tuscany.

Ester asked why people are sad.
“That’s simple,” says the old man. “They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people’s ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.”


6. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

novels to pack in your suitcase

A terrific thriller. A story that embraces history, literature, art and love. One of those books that you will remember for a lifetime. Zafon is a genius. I read this the summer before moving one year to London.

“Look Daniel. Destiny is usually just around the corner. Like a thief, a hooker, or a lottery vendor: its three most common personifications. But what destiny does not do is home visits. You have to go for it.”



Okay, you got me…

I really really like Jan Philipp Sender, Paulo Cohelo and Carlos Ruiz Zafon. But there are so many others that I love as well!

Leave a comment, I would love to hear about your favorite novels and suggestions! 


I'm the daughter of an Italian family of diplomats, the second of three children, and a global citizen. I've lived in 7 cities around the world, I have a gigantic crush on Italy and my name has been mispronounced more times than I can remember.

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