Books about Rome and Italy

Rome the Second Time

These days, people often use websites like this one or mobile apps to research their holidays, but there are still times when what you really want is a book: taking an armchair holiday on a tiny iPhone screen or even an iPad just isn't the same.

The way we absorb information from books is often said to be better than their digital equivalents too: the tactile sensations we get from a book actually help us to remember information, and the physical arrangement of the pages allows for a different kind of browsing.

(We don't want to put you off using Rome File, of course, but you might find a book handy as well.)

"Methinks I will not die quite happy without having seen something of that Rome of which I have read so much."

Sir Walter Scott

It's no surprise that there is a wide range of books about Rome and Italy available, from the thick branded volumes published by multinationals to the more personal and perhaps more insightful books, like Rome the Second Time. On these pages of Rome File we cover some of the most popular guidebooks, and some of the best.

As well as individual pages for the main guidebooks to Rome itself, you'll find summaries of some Guidebooks for all of Italy.

If you don't manage to buy a guidebook before you go, you can always find a copy in one of Rome's English language bookshops.

We've also got some notes on contemporary Roman literature, Roman authors, and an interview with Massimo Mongai.