Rome, the Eternal City - birthplace of western civilisation and soul of the ancient world - has a history that stretches back two thousand five hundred years. It is also one of the most-visited places in the world, but where does one begin to delve into two millennia of history, culture, art and architecture, whilst also navigating the vibrant modern city? Mario Erasmo here guides the traveller through Rome's many layers of history, exploring the streets, museums, piazze, ruins and parks of this 'city of the soul'. Punctuated with anecdote, myth and legend, these unique walks often retrace the very steps taken by ancient Romans, early Christians, medieval pilgrims, Renaissance artists and aristocrats on the Grand Tour. Here is a rich cultural history of Rome that brings its epic past alive, illuminating the extraordinary sights and fascinating secrets of one of Europe's most beguiling cities.
Mario Erasmo is Professor of Classics at the University of Georgia. He specialises in the Legacy of Classical Antiquity and leads art and garden tours in Europe retracing the travels of the Grand Tour. He is the author of Death: Antiquity and its Legacy (I.B.Tauris) and Reading Death in Ancient Rome.