Required Reading: Katie Parla's Rome Reading List

Katie Parla, author, guide, and American expat living in Rome, shares her favorite books—historical tomes, personal memoirs, ancient compilations, info-packed insider guides, and more—that best capture the essence of Italy’s ancient capital.

Knopf Doubleday
OF 6

“Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History” by Robert Hughes

“Art critic and cultural commentator Robert Hughes takes on more than 2,000 years of Roman history, covering the city's titans, from Romulus to Silvio Berlusconi. Part cultural-historical tome, part memoir, Rome is an unforgettable crash course via Hughes's personal relationship with the Italian capital. His descriptions of Baroque art and the impact of mass tourism are particularly vivid, and the book is one of the few historical surveys to address the tragic impact of two decades of Berlusconi's rule on local culture.” $19; amazon.com.