Uncovering Italy’s Superlatives in people, places and things

ISSIMO Booklist: Lazio

The ultimate Rome reading list

Rome is definitely stranger than fiction and there is no better way to understand its incredible facts than by its stories. From the behind-the-scenes real life tales of imperial Rome, the fantastic Baroque streets and the families who created the city to the fearful years of Fascist Rome and the true grit of the post war, ISSIMO shares the Eternal City’s secret and not-so-secret stories.

The Twelve Caesars

by Seutonius

Emperor Hadrian’s private secretary Seutonius had a front row to the men who created the most incredible empire.

The Families Who Made Rome

by Anthony Majanlathi

A chronicling of the families and individuals who built Rome from the ground up.

An evocative biography on the life and times of bad-boy painter Michelangelo Merisi, aka Caravaggio.

The Secrets of Rome

by Corrado Augias

Augias tells Rome’s 27 centuries of history through fact and personal stories.


by Gabriele D’Annunzio

The life of a serial seducer in Rome during the Belle Epoque.

The Conformist

by Alberto Moravia

Moravia’s most important novel set during the anxious years of Fascist Italy, traverses sex and politics in a nation of cynical opportunists.

Rome Tales

by Hugh Shankland

A collection of 20 tales set in the Eternal City (over seven centuries) by Italian authors including Boccaccio, Casanova and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana

by Carlo Emilio Gadda

The Great Novel disguised as a delicious detective story set on the gritty streets of 1950s Rome.

Popes Peasants and Shepherds

by Oretta Zanini de Vita

Oretta Zanini de Vita’s all-encompassing tome on the food of Rome and the Lazio region.

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