To Italy, With Love by Nicky Pellegrino | Book Review

With characters you’ll instantly love, swoon-worthy romance and a small Italian backdrop so vividly described, Kiwi author Nicky Pellegrino’s latest novel To Italy, With Love is feel good fiction at its finest.

Check out our review of To Italy, With Love by Nicky Pellegrino below.

Note: may contain minor spoliers

What’s the book about?

Set in idyllic, small-town Italy, the new gorgeously uplifting novel from international bestseller Nicky Pellegrino.

Love happens when you least expect it…

Assunta has given up on love. She might run her little trattoria in the most romantic mountain town in Italy, but love just seems to have passed her by.

Sarah-Jane is finished with love. She’s buying an old convertible and driving around Italy this summer – it’s the perfect way to forget all about her hot celebrity ex-boyfriend!

But when Sarah-Jane’s car breaks down in Montenello, she has to stay longer than she intended. And the trouble is, love is everywhere…

What did I think?

Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

If I didn’t want to jump on a plane already, this book just fuelled my wanderlust. In true Nicky Pellegrino style, To Italy, With Love is a compelling read full of likeable characters, romance and adventure and to top it all off, a backdrop that has you reaching for your passport.

The book follows Sarah-Jane and Assunta, two women who are unlucky in love and share a passion for food. I adored both of these characters and thought they were charming and sharp in a way that, while not entirely original, felt very relatable. It’s hard not to like them from the outset and as the story evolved, I felt like I was walking alongside two old friends. I also appreciate that while we are reading a romance novel, Pellegrino has taken care with creating situations that help our characters grow – almost as if they’re on a journey of self discovery. There are changing relationships and new experiences for both of our characters and I love how a few small moments (and some bigger ones) helped them learn more about themselves.

The story as a whole is also incredibly well written. The use of dual POVs served the story beautifully and it was such an engaging way to learn more about our leads while hitting on two major themes: love and food. The Italian backdrop is the perfect place to heighten these ideas and I thought Pellegrino did a great job of placing you right there alongside these characters. Montenello is the charming small town that is still so vivid in my mind, Sarah-Jane’s cottage is somewhere I want to visit, Assunta’s trattoria has my mouth watering and the relationships that develop feel very loving and genuine. 


To Italy, With Love is what I would call the perfect summer read and definitely one to pop in your beach bag this year. Full of loveable characters and romances that will have you in your feels, Pellegrino has penned a novel that is fun, charming and full of life – trust me, you won’t want to put it down.

Available at leading bookstores, you can learn more about the book and find a copy here.

Thank you to Hachette New Zealand for a copy of To Italy, With Love by Nicky Pellegrino.

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