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This engaging overview of the history of the Colosseum deconstructs Hollywood-perpetrated misconceptions of gladiator-eating lions, Nero fiddling and other myths.
Four Seasons in Rome
The author was awarded a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome to research and write. When "All The Light We Cannot See" was published it won a Pulitzer Prize. "Four Seasons in Rome" is a personal memoir of the challenges he and his wife faced day to day in Rome with infant twins.
Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History
This lively, illustrated survey of Ancient Rome's monuments, history and art is a terrific introduction.
The Italian Renaissance
A well-written history of the Renaissance, its artists and thinkers, with chapters on Florence, Milan, Rome and Venice, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Women of the Renaissance.
Blue Guide Rome
The 10th edition of Macadam's ultimate guide to Rome, with full color street maps, dozens of site plans, suggested walks and extensive commentary on the history and significance of every church, monument and district.
The Oxford Illustrated History of the Roman World
Diverse scholars contribute chapters to this authoritative, illuminating overview of history, art, society and life of Roman and the Roman world. With maps, drawings and illustrations throughout.
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
From Amazon: You won’t need luggage for this hypothetical and hilarious trip into the hearts and minds of Beppe Severgnini’s fellow Italians. In fact, Beppe would prefer if you left behind the baggage his crafty and elegant countrymen have smuggled into your subconscious. To get to his Italia, you’ll need to forget about your idealized notions of Italy. Although La Bella Figura will take you to legendary cities and scenic regions, your real destinations are the places where Italians are at their best, worst, and most authentic: the highway, the airport, and the small town.
A handy map at a scale of 1:11,000, with a more detailed overview of the city center.
As The Romans Do
from Amazon: "A celebration of the character and style of one of the world's most spectacular cities! This vibrant insider's view of the most mature city on earth is the perfect companion for anyone who loves anything Italian. In 1995, after a twenty-year love affair with Italy, Alan Epstein fulfilled his dream to live in Rome. In As the Romans Do, he celebrates the spirit of this stylish, dramatic, ancient city that formed the hub of a far-flung empire and introduced the Mediterranean culture to the rest of the world."
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Presented with flair and backed by a wealth of research, King's captivating chronicle of Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel tells the story of its conception and creation.
Roman Art and Architecture
Sir Mortimer Wheeler describes Roman art, architecture and town planning in this abundantly illustrated book in the World of Art series.
Miller traces the evolution of St. Peter's from its original incarnation, built on the orders of Emperor Constantine, to its medieval rebirth and additions by Michelangelo, Bernini, and Maderno in this history, guide and celebration of the great baroque basilica.
Rome, A Cultural History
Not a comprehensive history, but a good, easy-to-read introduction to the city and its landmarks that will appeal both to first time visitors and those who know and love the city.
The Seven Hills of Rome, A Geological Tour of the Eternal City
With a timeline, chapters on each of the seven hills, Tiber Floodplain and overview of geology, this accessible guide, written by experts in geology, culture and history of Rome, shows the importance of the geological setting to the history of the city over the millennia.
The Smiles of Rome, A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers
A wonderfully inspired anthology featuring excerpts from 29 writers and artists interspersed with practical suggestions for travelers.
Rome: The Biography of a City
From Amazon: "This beautifully written, informative study is a portrait, a history and a superb guide book, capturing fully the seductive beauty and the many layered past of the Eternal City. It covers 3,000 years of history from the city's quasi-mythical origins, through the Etruscan kings, the opulent glory of classical Rome, the decadence and decay of the Middle Ages and the beauty and corruption of the Renaissance, to its time at the heart of Mussolini's fascist Italy. Exploring the city's streets and buildings, peopled with popes, gladiators, emperors, noblemen and peasants, this volume details the turbulent and dramatic history of Rome in all its depravity and grandeur."