10 of the best books set in Rome | Rome holidays | The Guardian

robert graves, me, claudio, 1934

Claudius unforgettably depicts his imperial predecessors, famous and infamous, in Robert Graves’ glorious evocation of decadent ancient Rome.

“sometimes (caligula) he was apollo and sometimes mercury and sometimes pluto (…) but most of the time he was young: he wore an olive crown, a beard of fine gold threads and silk bright blue cloak, and in his hand was a piece of jagged electro representing lightning. One day he was on the prayer platform in the market square dressed as a youth and making a speech…”the forum, roman forum

You are reading: Books set in rome

alberto moravia, the woman from rome, 1947

Moravian’s poignant 1947 masterpiece evokes the sexy but seedy street life of Rome, following Adriana as she gets caught up in the intrigues of criminals and the police.

“an amusement park, Luna Park, whose lights and music animated the summer months. If I looked out of my window I could see the festoons of colored lamps, the roofs with flags of the different booths and the crowd packed around the entrance under the plane trees.”luna park, via delle tre fontane

See also  Choice reads for Cubs fans this offseason - Bleed Cubbie Blue

pier paolo pasolini, the ragazzi, 1955

The acclaimed director and poet was also a fine novelist, as exemplified here in his story of 12-year-old Riccetto growing up in the slums of Monteverde.

“from monteverde vecchio to the granatieri there is a short road. it passes through the prato, and is cut between the viale dei quattro venti: heaps of garbage, unfinished houses already in ruins, large muddy excavations, hillsides full of junk.” piazza donna olimpia, monteverde nuovo

elsa morante, history: a novel, 1974

Morante’s brilliant 1974 novel (La Storia) tells of Rome during World War II and follows the lives of Ida Ramundo and her two sons. the book, controversial when published, found a wider following through the 1986 film based on it.

See Also: Memorize the Books of the Bible Printable – The Natural Homeschool

“the ghetto was a small, old, segregated neighborhood – until the last century… ever since the old town was sanitized and its walls were torn down, its population had only multiplied; and now, In those two little squares, thousands of people somehow managed to live.” the jewish ghetto, via del portico d’ottavia, sant’angelo

giuseppe genna, caput mundi at the rome noir collection, 2009

the baroque and beautiful montecitorio is, however, a place where danger is never far from the surface in this story from a writer who is a member of the luther blissett collective

“palazzo montecitorio, seat of the chamber of deputies: the political heart of the nation”. abysses, complicating the internal labyrinths, widening the stairs”palazzo montecitorio, via del corso

See also  Jean Craighead George - Book Series In Order

ennio flaiano, via veneto papers, from rome tales, stories translated by hugh shankland, 2011

The co-authored diary of fellini, one of the fine authors included in the evocative tales of rome, offers some fascinating insights into the director and roman life.

“fellini never stops thinking about [la dolce vita] and spends his time choosing faces, contacting actors, sending telegrams, getting to know the shady parasites of via veneto and surroundings. He wants to represent an unreal rome, rebuild everything in the studio or leave in reality what is already unreal: the trevi fountain, saint peter, the roman countryside.”via veneto

johann wolfgang von goethe, italian voyage 1786-1788

While traveling to Rome and other Italian cities, Goethe wrote many letters that remain unsurpassed for their wonderful Roman observations.

“we arrived at the colosseum at dusk. once you have seen it, everything seems small. it is so big that the mind cannot retain its image; one remembers it smaller than it is, so that every time one returns to it, one is amazed by its size.” the colisseum, piazza del colosseo

lindsey davis, the silver pigs, 2000

See Also: Where Can I Get A Book Spiral Bound?

marcus didiua falco thinks he’s rescuing a girl in distress, but all is not as it seems in the winding alleys of ancient rome.

“it was the usual scene in the forum. we had the record office and the capitol hill just above us to the left…in front, beyond the white marble grandstand, was the house of the Senate. All the porches were crowded with butchers and bankers.” the capitol, piazza campidoglio, 55

See also  Steven Pressfield - Book Series In Order

tennessee williams, mrs stone’s roman spring, 1950

Middle-aged widow Karen Stone arrives in a seductive post-war Rome where love and betrayal seem to lurk around every corner.

“the domes of the ancient churches…still bathed in golden light, and so was the very height of that immense cascade of stone stairs descending from the trinità di monte to the piazza di spagna. all day long that sprawling fountain of stairs had gathered the sun-drenched crowd of people who had no regular or legitimate occupation.” spanish steps, via dei condotti

livy, the early history of rome

In the first five volumes of his epic Roman history, Livy gives us a front row seat through the reign of seven kings, the republic, and civil war.

“it was on this occasion that our circus maximus was originally planned. on the ground marked out for it special places were allotted to senators…horses and boxers, mostly from Etruria, provided the entertainment. a From then on, the games became an annual institution and were called Roman or Greek games.” circus maximus, via del circo massimo

malcolm burgess is the editor of the oxygen books city selection series, featuring some of the best writing on the world’s favorite cities

See Also: Where to Download Free Ebooks Illegal in 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.