What a fantastic book! I came across this in a little book shop one day and bought it on impulse as I was visiting Rome the following weekend. I spent a week dipping in and out of this easy to read and highly entertaining book. Matyszak takes you by the hand and guides you through the streets of Ancient Rome, pointing out where to stay, where to eat, what to look out for, who to avoid as well as giving you many humourous and fascinating facts along the way.
There are many pictures within the book as well as sidebar areas with lists of interesting facts so it makes it fabulous for just dipping in and out of and I can imagine it would be really appealing to older children too. It is divided into 10 sections: Getting There, Environs of Rome, Settling In, Out and About, Shopping, Law and Order, Entertainment, Religion, Must-See Sights, Roman Walks.
With the rich descriptive text and numerous facts; this really must be the closest thing to going back in time and experiencing Ancient Rome for yourself. This gave the facts like a local would have at the time, all of the quirky knowledge, the streetwise facts and the ancient gossip. You really feel that you are at the baths listening in to all of the whispers and giggles of town life.
All in all a fantastic buy, if you have even the faintest interest in Ancient Rome then definitely buy it! I must admit that it was because of this book that I looked like rather an expert when my husband and I went to Rome. Even the odd tourist who overheard me looked impressed! This book really does tell you what the others dont...