Holiday reading: Rome

Roma reading

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Tripfiction picks the best reads for your destination of choice. Make room in your suitcase…

The Eternal City has everything: an eclectic mix of history, fashion, glamour, and not to mention that irresistible ‘dolce vita’. Roam around on a punchy little Vespa, partake in some coin-throwing at the Trevi Fountain, and finish off with a slap up meal of Fettuccine at the real Alfredo’s. Yes, Rome life is the good life. And to reflect the real jumble of experience, we've chosen three very different books that bring the city to life.

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The View from the Tower, by Charles Lambert (Exhibit A) 

Helen is in a hotel room with her lover when a gunman murders her husband, Federico, a high-level civil servant, less than a mile away. She soon finds herself entangled in a web of suspicion that involves those closest to her. What ensues is a psychological tale of love, betrayal, and the damage done when ideals and human lives come into conflict.

A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome, by Alberto Angela (Europa Editions)

The year is 115 AD and Imperial Rome is at the height of its power. The reader wakes in a rich aristocrat’s home and discovers frescoes, opulent furnishings and richly appointed boudoirs. Strolling through the splendours of the Roman Forum, we’re privy to the learned opinions of intellectual orators, local dialogue and humour floating out from the public latrines. Angela even explores the sexual habits and fetishes of Roman patricians and plebs (that’s right).

The Affair, by Gill Paul (Avon)

Gill Paul’s fictional novel is set alongside the tumultuous relationship of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the early Sixties (undeniably, the true era of the dolce vita), and goes behind the scenes of the most iconic (and the most expensive) Hollywood movie ever made: Cleopatra. What’s in store for the reader? An enthralling read packed with infidelity, secrets and (of course) glamour.

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