Rome Books

When looking at a city like Rome, the options for reading material are endless and can be a little bit overwhelming. I want to give you a list of some books that will help you prepare for your time in Rome and will get you excited about your upcoming adventure.

Rome Through History Books

Rome has such a long-winding past, and with that comes many stories to tell. Every time I walk past the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and every time I see the Vatican and all the monuments and wonders in between, my curiosity spikes. Here are some best books about ancient Rome to help answer some of the curiosities you might have.

“S.P.Q.R.” by Mary Beard

Mary Beard is a professor of classics. She has written several books on Rome and its history and does so in a way that captures your attention and leaves you with the desire to know more. She is a well-known scholar of Ancient Rome, and this gives her a wonderful and in-depth knowledge of Rome’s past.

Read this book if you want an expansive timeline of Ancient Rome told by an expert in the field.

“The Storm Before the Storm” by Mike Duncan

This book could fall into the popular history genre. It is written based on fact but in a way that appeals to a wide audience.

The Storm Before the Storm is a novel recounting the fall of the Roman Republic that led to the rise of the Roman Empire. This book is well-written by a great storyteller who is passionate about the subject.

And passion, in my opinion, will always bring you the best results. Duncan covers roughly a 70-year period of Rome’s vast history, and he does so in a captivating way. Worth a read.

Read this book if you want the history of Rome told to you in a more ‘easy read’ style.

Books Set in Rome

Rome makes me think of all the stories of people who have walked on the same roads as me in the past. It makes me wonder what stories the cobblestones would share if they could talk.

While the likelihood of the Roman streets talking to us is very low, we are gifted with many authors that decided to base their Rome books on the beautiful Italian capital. Here are a few of my favourite Rome-based books.

“Two Women in Rome” by Adele Parks

This book showcases the mystery and intrigue of Rome. It is one of the fiction books about Rome. It starts with a dual timeline story of two women whose lives become intertwined through their lives in Rome but decades apart from each other. It is addictive, it has history, it has mystery, and it has a love for the city of Rome.

Following two storylines and seeing how they weave together through the streets of Rome is, for me, gripping. I am always interested in the stories that came before me, so I love that this book shares the stories of a woman who is discovering a life of a woman before her in the beautiful backdrop of Rome.

Read this book if you want mystery in Rome through the lives of women worlds apart: Women who become connected to each other in the Eternal City.

“Six Days in Rome” by Francesca Giacco

This book is a don’t-miss summer read, in my opinion. This is the kind of book that is a light, easy read. It shares the story of a young woman who travels to Rome after heartbreak, and with Rome as her backdrop, we see her rediscover herself.

If you have never been to Rome, Giacco’s writing will make you feel as though you know the city deeply. If you have been to Rome, it will leave you hoping to be back as soon as possible.

Read this book if you are a hopeless romantic, if a ‘summer read’ is your favourite type of book, and if you want to feel as though you’re walking through Rome with our main character.

Rome Travel Guides

If reading novels or diving deep into ancient history isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Luckily Rome has an abundance of travel guides.

“Rome for Food Lovers (Food Lovers Guides)” by Peter Loewe

This book is one of the best books on Rome for me. Whenever anyone asks me what they must do in Rome, the answer is always to eat. Food is a love language, I would say, for every Italian. For this reason, food is something you should be sure to include while planning for your time in Rome.

Read this book/guide to find some unmissable food spots in Rome. Take the advice of Lowe, avoid the tourist traps, and enjoy the wonders of Roman cuisine.

“Rick Steves Rome (Travel Guide)” by Rick Steves

A classic travel guide for any trip could be Rick Steves. He is a wonderful and experienced traveller, and his guide to Rome is insightful, in-depth, and clear to any traveller. Whether this is your first trip abroad or one of many, this guide is sure to help you find your way around the city.

Read this book/guide if you want an approachable, fun, and complete guide to the Eternal City.

All these books are only some of the many with Rome as their star. I hope you read my recommendations, enjoy them as I did, and fall in love with the Eternal City. First through the pages and then in the streets.