Rome

Nonfiction

The Genius in the Design: Bernini, Boromini and the Rivalry that Transformed Rome, Jake Morrissey, 2005
Two of the greatest architects of the Renaissance, who together shaped Rome’s most significant buildings, were archrivals. This is the gripping story of their enmity and how it fueled their works.

City of the Soul, William Murray, 2002
Informal and personal reflection on Rome: the places, the people who live there, the attractions, etc.

Whispering City, Modern Rome and its Histories, R. J. B. Bosworth, 2011
A look at Rome’s most important historical figures and monuments.

The Smiles of Rome, A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers, Susan Cahill, 2005
Passages from 29 sources, written throughout history, ranging from Ovid to John Updike.

Rome and Environs, An Archaeological Guide, Filippo Coarelli, 2008
A guide that leads visitors around Rome’s myriad archaeological sites with easy-to-read maps.

Four Seasons in Rome, Anthony Doerr, 2008
A memoir about the author’s experience as a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome.

Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane, Andrew Graham-Dixon, 2010
A no-holds-barred biography on the brilliant but deeply troubled artist.

Rome, Robert Hughes, 2011
A memoir and guide to the city by one of the world’s most respected art historians.

City Secrets Rome, Robert Kahn, 2011
A guide to Rome’s most magical sights—both the well known and relatively unknown—sourced from a range of specialists, from architects and designers to professors.

A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities, Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World’s Greatest Empire, J. C. McKeown, 2010
Fantastic miscellany from all of Rome’s eras.

City of the Soul, A Walk in Rome, William Murray, 2003
From a writer for The New Yorker, a memoir about childhood growing up in Rome.

Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare, 1599
Shakespeare’s classic tragedy dissects the role of friendship and ambition in the 44 BC assassination of Julius Caesar.

The Seasons of Rome: A Journal, Paul Hoffman, 1997 — Points of daily life in Rome.

Fiction

The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith, 1955
Tom Ripley, an amoral American social climber, assumes the identity of a rich college friend to live the high life in Italy in this deft psychological mystery.

Pompeii, Robert Harris, 2003
A fictionalized account of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, in the first century AD.

Italian Hours, Henry James, 1909
A compilation of the author’s essays on Italy, including many on Rome, from 1872 to 1909.

Masters of Rome, Colleen McCullough, 1990-2007
From the Australian author of The Thorn Birds, comes a fictional series set in Rome’s late republic.

The Imperfectionists, Tom Rachman, 2010
A story about an English-language newspaper based in Rome, and the incredible cast of characters that run it.

The Agony and the Ecstasy, Irving Stone, 1961
This fictional story is based on the real struggles Michelangelo faced as he painted the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling.

The Marble Faun, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1860
Old and new world collide in a symbol-laden romantic tragedy set among ex-pats in Italy, which includes Hawthorne’s notes on classic sites that still stand today.

For Children

This is Rome, Miroslav Sasek, 1960
A child-friendly tour of the city’s landmarks.

Rome Antics, David Macaulay, 1997
Led by a city pigeon, readers fly through Rome.

You Wouldn’t Want to be a Roman Gladiator! John Malam and David Antram, 2001
A look at a day in the life of a Roman gladiator.

Films

La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini, 1960
Playboy journalist Marcello Mastroianni lives the sweet life in Rome, and meets up with famed actress Anita Ekberg in this high-water mark of Italian cinema.

Fellini’s Roma, Federico Fellini, 1972
The city is the star in Fellini’s impressionistic, often autobiographical celebration of the Italian capital.

Roman Holiday, William Wyler, 1953
Oscar-winner Audrey Hepburn plays a sheltered princess who gets loose on the streets of Rome with Yankee newsman Gregory Peck in this most romantic, yet genteel, romantic comedies.

Ben Hur, William Wyler, 1959
Starring Charlton Heston, this film, about chariot racing in ancient Rome, was famous for being hugely expensive to make and also highly successful, earning eleven Academy Awards.

Gladiator, Ridley Scott, 2000
Russell Crowe plays a deceived army general who is taken into slavery and whose only choice is to avenge his family’s death by battling as a gladiator.

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