Silver Travel Book Club

July 2022 – Out of Her Depth

Please note: the prize draw is now closed.

We’ll explore a different destination for each Book Club, and a lucky Silver Travel Book Club reader can win a free copy of that month’s book.

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Classic Collection Holidays – is reading Out of Her Depth by Lizzy Barber.

There are summers that will change your life. There are summers that may end it.

In the lush green hills beyond Florence sits the Villa Medici a graceful pensione surrounded by manicured gardens.

Rachel, a college student from an outer London suburb, can’t believe her luck in landing a summer job here. Especially when she’s drawn into a circle of privileged young sophisticates, including her glamorous co-worker Diana, who promises to help Rachel win the affections of handsome, confident Sebastian.

But as champagne flows and rivalries fester in the Tuscan countryside, Rachel realizes that Diana has motivations of her own. Adrift in a world of backstabbing and bedhopping, lavish parties and easy betrayal, Rachel feels the stakes rising along with the temperatures until, one night, something snaps. Someone dies. And nothing will ever be the same…


Like Rachel, Classic Collection Holidays will take you on a journey to Tuscany. But your experience with Classic Collection could look a bit more like this. As you sink into the pool in the Italian gardens at Villa San Michele, a Belmond Hotel, as the sun starts to dip over the Arno valley, you realise there’s 30 minutes before your private car arrives to take you and your other half for a countryside drive to the Chianti Hills. It’s here you’ll both enjoy an exclusive vineyard dining setting, for a supper like no other beneath the stars.

Villa San Michele is set in the Tuscan Hills overlooking Florence, just 7km away and this lovingly restored monastery provides a luxurious and stylish space for guests to enjoy. By day and by night the views from the Villa over the valley and towards Florence are stunning. Immersed in the beautiful gardens, the swimming pool provides a tranquil spot to relax and offers a poolside restaurant for lunch or a light snack. For dinner, Tuscan specialities and Italian wines can be enjoyed al fresco or in the Cloister. There is no better place to spend an evening than on the Loggia where good company and a nightcap, are enhanced by the gentle sounds of the pianist in the background.

For more information visit Villa San Michele and call our Silver Travel Advisors on 0800 412 5678 to book.

How to win a copy of Out of Her Depth by Lizzy Barber

Tuscany is home to dramatic landscapes and the historic cities of Florence and Siena. It’s a place of art and delicious local dishes.

Comment below to tell us about your favourite part of Italy and what made it special or about an Italian trip you would like to make.

A winner will be chosen in early August 2022.
The competition closes on 31 July 2022.

Read more about all of our Silver Travel Book Club reads.

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112 Responses

  1. Florence an amazing city – I ran the marathon there never seen such stylish Marshalls.

  2. I would love to tour Italy. I did go on a cruise to Italy but unfortunately broke my leg on day 4 so did not get there. Was airlifted to Spain instead but still hope to visit Italy soon

  3. I would love to tour Italy. I did go on a cruise to Italy but unfortunately broke my leg on day 4 so did not get there.

  4. I loved Lake Garda, being a walker there were so many beautiful places to explore, plus the wonderful food.

  5. It is an ambition of mine to visit the Cinque Terre on the coast of Italy. I have visited Italy but so far the itinerary hasn’t included this lovely area. Hopefully I will visit in the future.

  6. Would like to win a copy of OUT OF HER DEPTH. I have been learning Italian for two years during lock down and hope one day to practice it in Italy!

  7. My wife has always wanted to go to Lake Garda and we had booked to go in 2020 but couldn’t as a result of COVID-19. This will now be a priority for next year

  8. Italy’s regional differences only serve to enhance its attraction for travellers. Ancient cultures ,the Renaissance ,Baroque and Rococo and even contemporary flair and design make it impossible to narrowly compartmentalise Italy. Have I got a preference ? I have never tired of travelling to Italy – From Sicily to Liguria and all points between . If I am forced ,however, to opt for a future trip , then it would have to be Sardinia ,the only region to which I have never visited.

  9. I would love to make a trip to Rome to make a wish at the Trevi fountain and visit the spectacular Colosseum the largest amphitheatre built during the Roman Empire.

  10. Maybe I should not be filling in this part! I have never been fortunate enough to visit Italy, despite having been to many other parts of the world. Therefore, I would be overjoyed to win a trip to Tuscany and see the wonderful place for myself (not just in brochures or on Travel Shows!!)

  11. I haven’t been to Italy. I love the sound of the Tuscany hills and palaces of Italy. They sound so grand and have echoes of the grandeur of past years . I love Arts and crafts, so another aspect to look at. Italian food, always something for somebody, sounds like an ideal holiday

  12. My favourite part of Italy is near Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. This was my first holiday in Italy and has special memories for me. I rally enjoyed feeling like a local and walking downhill through the village to the little gem of a village Massa Lobra. Sitting in Angelo’s bar, drinking Aperol Spritz watching the sun set over the Bay of Naples.

    Travelling on the buses like a local and catching the train to Pompeii and climbing to the crater of Vesuvius.

    Such a wonderful holiday, oh! and the sun shone all the time!!

  13. My favourite area of Italy is the Dolomites – fantastic scenery and beautiful Alpine villages.

  14. Too many of my friends and family have now told me how beautiful Tuscany is and that we should visit at least twice to ensure we make the most of everything the area has to offer. Sadly we’ve have had to cancel two trips but fingers crossed we’ll get there next year.

  15. The Amalfi Coast is stunning. The only place I know that looks better in reality than in films or on TV, every view surpassing the last.

  16. It can only be Rome… amazing history literally on every corner and the gelato YUM

  17. It has to be Rome, the most magical city in the World. I have loved every moment of every trip I’ve made there.

  18. I had just got divorced and I celebrated by taking my 5 year old son to Tuscany and we had a wonderful time and we went on day trips to see the leaning tower of pizza and the Vatican a once in a lifetime experience we will never forget. My son is now 21 but we always talk about Italy.

  19. My favourite part of Italy is Pisa – I remember the white and the leaning of that famous Tower was amazing, and to go up it and see the view. The bright light of Pisa made it special to me on the white Tower emphasizing the lean somehow.

  20. We enjoyed visiting Venice last month. Absolutely beautiful and a photo round every corner. Still going through them all now!

  21. Not long back from a trip in Naples.
    What can I say, if you haven’t been to Pompeii, you must book a trip. It is totally mesmerising, most amazing archaeological site I’ve visited 🙂

  22. I enjoyed a wonderful tour of Sicily 3 years ago and having watched the final episode of Montalbano the views of that island brought back many pleasant memories. Would love to visit the Puglia area to see the quaint Trulli houses.

  23. Vesuvius when I visited as a kid and took home my own piece of volcano

  24. My favourite part of Italy is Venice and we can’t seem to stop ourselves going back for more! However, if I was to go somewhere else it would probably be Abruzzo, mainly for the hilltop villages, national parks and nature reserves, but also for the food culture.

  25. I went to Pisa many years ago and climbed The Leaning Tower Of Pisa, which was still allowed then. Pisa has a lovely medieval feel to it.

  26. I love Italy, so much so that I learnt the language fifty or so years ago, when I was a bright young thing. However, after joining the U3A group in my local town of Maghull Liverpool, I have joined up Italian classes again. I love it. All of the memories, and feelings of my youth come flooding back. This book sounds so good. Tuscany has to be my number one on my bucket list now, the beautiful architecture, the renaissance period (Sigh) ………..

  27. I’d love to visit Lake Orta, in Piedmont, as it less well known than the nearby neighbour lakes of Como and Maggiore. The village of Orta San Giulia looks stunning with narrow cobbled streets and a picturesque piazza overlooking the marina where a tiny ferry shuttles you across the lake. If money were no object, I’d stay at Villa Crespi with its 2 Michelin Star restaurant. A perfect place for a romantic weekend away and only an hour from the hustle and bustle of Milan.

  28. It’s so hard to say a favourite place, Sorrento is so pretty, Pompeii was fascinating but I think Rome has so much to explore that I’d probably plump for there

  29. A few years ago we spent a wonderful week in Ravello, high in the hills above Amalfi. We would walk down through lemon groves to the little town of Atrani and on to Amalfi and later get the bus back to Ravello,which was an experience in itself with lots of “oohs and ahs” as we were flung from side to side round all the sharp bends. Ravello itself is a romantic little town, a favourite venue for weddings in the cathedral there. It also has the lovely Villa Rufolo where we attended a concert where the orchestra sits on a platform built out over the sea. Another wonderful place we visited was the Terrace of Infinity in the gardens of the Villa Cimbrone where statues along the old wall look down over the beautiful blue sea. The gardens are lovely and the whole place has a dream-like quality. A lovely never-to-b-forgotten holiday!

  30. Above Cueno unspoilt and such a delight gliding in the air in a hot air balloon. Then a trip to the Marchesi di Barolo Vineyards

  31. There are many parts of Italy that I love, but as I have an interest in history, it was my dream to visit Pompeii. The first time I went, as we approached, I was overcome with emotion and wept. Although I have returned a couple of times, I still feel the hairs on the back of my neck rise.

  32. We cancelled our Lake Garda and Verona trip due to Covid in April 2020. We were looking forward to opening the shutters in morning and looking out onto the lake, eating pizza under olive trees and walking around beautiful castles and churches. Catching a glimpse of Juliet’s balcony and drinking wine under the stars at one of the restaurants at piazza bra. However it was not meant to be. I have only been to one Italian city which was beautiful Venice, I know there is so much more to discover, the coastline of the Amalfi coast and Tuscany with its picturesque winding villages and stunning views. I would feel very lucky to visit anywhere else in Italy and truly grateful.

  33. We went to Rome and loved it. It was small enough to be able to walk everywhere.T here were amazing buildings as far as you could see.

  34. always say I feel like I left a little bit of my heart in Positano after going there on honeymoon 3 years ago. I absolutely fell in love with it. I adore Rome as well. Next on my list is Venice – although my list is so much longer, there are so many places I want to visit! Beautiful Italy. ❤️

  35. Eating bruschetta and drinking wine with the Duomo Cathedral as a backdrop in Florence is a joy before a trip to the Uffizi for the afternoon.

  36. After reading all the comments I am flooded with memories of trips to Italy and all the wonderful cities and towns I have been lucky enough to visit including Rome, Assisi, Venice, Florence, Sorrento, Naples and Sienna to name a few. It has been 18 years since I was there so I’d be happy to revisit any of the areas. However, as a frequent visitor to our Lake District I would love to explore their Lake District and discover the similarities and differences.

  37. It has to be Rome the history is amazing you can really picture Ancient Rome from the ruins and the Coliseum is awesome. Also the gelato in the world is in Rome!

  38. I spent 6 months studying Italian and History of Art in Florence (also learning to play frisbee very well in the piazzas !) after I left school, so am a little bit biased towards Tuscany. It really is the most beautiful part of italy. However, I see that Classic Collection holidays have some gorgeous spa hotels in Capril and Ischia which at the moment, I very much like the look of.

  39. I’ve never been but I would enjoy a foodie type break, who doesn’t love Italian cuisine?

  40. My favourite Italian city is Venice. I visited Venice after I was a student and it is the most unique place I have ever been x

  41. I would like to revisit the Modena region to explore the car factories and museums.

  42. I am obsessed with Rome and Sicily because of the history and the beauty of the areas. I would dearly love to tour the whole of Italy with my husband for our 30th anniversary. He is a avid cook and me a culture vulture

  43. I really enjoyed our holiday at Lake Garda. Loved visiting the different areas by boat, such a different and enjoyable holiday.

  44. Venice is pure magic. From the scenery to the food and the people. I’d just love to go back.

  45. Stayed with an Italian family at their summer home in Palinuro – it was the most beautiful place. A few days at their town house near Naples and visited Pompei – an amazing experience. I would love to see more of Italy – maybe the Lakes ?

  46. I would love to go back to Pompeii. So much more to see now than there was 30 years ago.

  47. My husband and I had an amazing holiday in Sorrento just before he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I would love to go back there one day. I just love the area and the food!

  48. I still recall with much love and affection my honeymoon (27 years ago) in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast. What a gem of an area! We loved visiting the islands of Capri and Ischia too, which were so beautiful and enchanting. We were hoping to return for our Silver Wedding Anniversary, but were temporarily halted by the pandemic. Hopefully we will go back to this place of happy memories again soon.

  49. I would love to go to Tuscany and have a foodie break! I would also like to visit Rome! I have done Pompeii and the leaning tower but we came off a cruise ship so I haven’t had long in Italy at al!

  50. Malcesine on Lake Garda in the winter for skiing which holds so many memories of when I used to take groups from the school I was teaching at. The beautiful scenery, delicious foods, but most of all the most welcoming locals who made every stay so very special.

  51. I loved Venice so much and it was such a perfect trip I dare not return in case it doesn’t live up to the first time

  52. So difficult to choose a favourite place in Italy as it has so much to offer. The atmosphere of Rome and Pizza, history of Pompeii, shopping in Milan, eating alfresco around the shore of Lake Garda, the views from the Amalfi coast but we fell in love with the beautiful island of Capri hoping to visit Lake Como next.

  53. We spent a week staying on the beautiful shores of Lake Garda. We had a day trip to Venice and it was magical! It was our honeymoon.

  54. I’ve only been once and stayed at Lake Garda. I liked going on a Gondola.

  55. It has to be Rome, even the bins are stylish. The most beautiful city anywhere.

  56. I’ve never been, love Italian food so I’d love to do a huge tour and eat my way around

  57. Venice. I visited there for a few hours when visiting a nearby country many years ago and totally fell in love with it – the buildings, the uniqueness, the food, the people, everything. It was just amazing buth unfortunately I have never had the opportunity to return since despite saying many times that i must! My daughter wants to go to Rome and my son to the Alps so I’ll maybe get back for a big holiday yet 🙂

  58. There are so many parts of Italy I would love to visit – but I definitely want to see Venice! 🙂

  59. florence is such a beautiful city, so many nice places to eat and places to see. We had a fab time and woyuld deffo recomend

  60. I’d love to visit Rome one day because there is so much I want to see there.

  61. I just love the sights, food and drink of the beautiful city of Florence. Amazing!

  62. I love the people, sights, sounds and smells of Italy; but above all else I love the food! You just can’t compare the Italian food we get here with the authentic stuff. Everything is delicious, and don’t get me started on the wine…

  63. I would love to go to Venice. It looks absolutely. I have been to Ghent in Belgium which is a port town and has a lot of boats and river and makes me think of a mini Venice. Would love to see the real thing.

  64. We went to Sorrento for our honeymoon 12 years ago, I utterly adored it. Such a perfect romantic setting. Now we have a daughter of eleven (mmm) which would make her a lovely age to go back and show her Pompeii and all the wonderful history of the place.

  65. The Amalfi coast. We had a fantastic holiday there when our boys were younger.

  66. I lived in Italy and met my husband I. Rome so it will always be special to me

  67. Looks beautiful scenery and landscapes also. The island of Sardinia would especially fantastic for a holiday break. However anywhere would be marvellous for a visit also!

  68. It is my ambition to go on a trip to the Italian lakes. As a keen gardener, Villa Balbianello would be the absolute highlight.

  69. I love all of Italy, the sights ,the food. The way of life is so different from ours; my favourite place id Sorrento it is so beautiful. I love Italy so much that I have started to lurn the language.

  70. My wish has always been to revisit Florence and the surrounding area. I spent just one night in Florence 20 years ago when my son was at university in Perrugia, Umbria for a year. Perrugia itself was a beautiful walled city and I enjoyed wandering round exploring but my dream had always been to visit Florence. My son had a couple of days off so we decided to go down on the train and spend one night in Florence. It was a fabulous day, I remember climbing up and looking over the beautiful city and wandering the streets where there were so many beautiful buildings. We would have loved to visit the Uffizi Gallery but the queue was so long and we had a train to catch back to Perrugia. I have always vowed to go back to spend more time in this wonderful city and complete my dream by visiting the Uffizi Gallery.

  71. A few years ago, a friend and I visited the Amalfi Coast, my first taste of Italy. We stayed just outside Sorrento and used the trains to travel to Pompeii and Herculaneum and took a bus trip along the coast to Positano and Ravello. It was an amazing holiday and the memories are easily evoked by the smell of lemons and the jasmine that hung over all the walls on our walk into the centre. Tuscany is another area that I would love to visit one day.

  72. So many beautiful cities that I would love to visit – for the architecture and art especially.

  73. I visited the Vatican and was mesmerised by Michael angelo’s paintings. I also saw the pope there. It was wonderful x

  74. La Thuile, a ski resort which I have visited many times over the years with family and friends. I don’t ski myself but love the food, culture and apre-skiing!

  75. We went on a city break to Rome and then a few years later we went to Bergamo. It was a lovely city set up on the hillside. The views we had were amazing and all the cobblestone streets were quaint. The food was fantastic and the people were lovely.

  76. I been to Florence 2 times now just th e scenery and amazing people love it

  77. I’d love to visit the Amalfi Coast which looks so beautiful and full of lovely picturesque towns are stairways.

  78. I have never been to Italy but if funds allowed I would love to visit the Amalfi Coast after hearing my friend wax lyrical about it.

  79. We’ve just come back from a week away to Lake Garda with our two children. Absolutely stunning! We also visited Gardaland theme park which has some amazing views of the lake. Lazise was beautiful too, very busy market on a Wednesday

  80. I visited Venice when I was 18 many years ago. I had always wanted to go in a gondola which we did on that trip and it was very special.

  81. The Amalfi coast! The drive along it was simply amazing, such stunning scenery. We stopped for lunch in Amalfi, it was a wonderful experience from the food to the scenery. A culture I wish I was part of

  82. It has to be the Southern Dolomites in early Spring. Probably the best and most beautiful peaks and snow i’ve ever found whilst skiing. Coming here with family after a period of ill health was so rejuvenating that I found myself crying with happiness on the slopes1

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