Not reading, but...I was lucky enough to go to Italy when I was in high school. Years later, I started playing the Assassin's Creed games. Boyfriend was watching me, and I just ignored all the missions and started exploring the city. I knew where I was going, went to the cathedral, and started climbing. He gave me a strange look, and I explained that I'd been there before, and started giving him a lesson about what I'd learned while I was there. It was a complete connection seeing it in the game and having been there in real life. It made the game that much richer for me because of it.
I read a book recently about the World's Fair in Chicago, and I was just up there a few years ago. I didn't know the area very well, and a lot of what they were talking about was set over a century ago, so it was hard to picture it exactly, but then when they mentioned that the main hall was still there and was now the Field Museum, it clicked. I had a good picture in my head of the architecture because I had been there and seen it. I re-read the parts about the problems building it and could see it more vividly in my head.
I'm with Coralreef, though. Walking into a tiny store, having a friend who wanted to buy a shirt where the shop owner had a question, and we had to get his daughter and me to run interference because we had a shared language, and spending five minutes going back and forth to check if the size and color was right...that experience can't really be conveyed properly with words.
I saw the leaning tower of Pisa. Then I took a tour of the Baptismal and wandered around the city. The cats on the roof, the laid back atmosphere, the utter lack of rush in anything by the people living there, the smell of the fresh pizza baking, or how the gelato melts just so, none of it can really be conveyed in a book or movie, you have to be there.