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City Secrets: Rome [Hardcover]

Robert Kahn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Mar 2000 City Secrets
If a standard guide book has never given you entree to the Rome you seek, let City Secrets unlock the door. See the world's most magnificent art, architecture, and antiquities through the eyes of the people who know them best: a renowned painter shows the way to an overlooked masterpiece; an archaeologist walks you through an intriguing ancient ruin; a Renaissance scholar tells which of Michelangelo's works he finds most moving of all. Along the way, a poet laureate shares the address of a gourmet cheese shop with its own pizzeria; and an acclaimed director sets the stage for an ideal Roman afternoon. A unique compilation, City Secrets: Rome is the key to a new kind of travel.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Little Bookroom,U.S. (9 Mar 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892145049
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892145048
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 681,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

The appeal of the City Secrets series is truly novel. Instead of the customary (and often rather bland) comments on the points of interest and topography of Rome, this fascinating volume presents sharply observed views from some of the world's most important artists, archaeologists, architects and writers, with historians adding their own layer of expertise. The Sistine Chapel, for instance, is covered in fascinating paragraphs by a rare bookseller, a historical specialist, the architect Richard Meier, and others. Each gives individual insights into the subject. The watering holes garner an equally lively mix of opinions: the bar Sant'Eustachio is described as serving a really great granita di caffi (coffee-flavoured ice) and is fun to hang around in to watch carabinieri and parliamentarians, while another writer informs us that this is the place to buy the world's best cappuccino--and why buying a cup to display on the shelf at home is, to the hardcore, the ultimate status symbol! Time and again, this iconoclastic approach throws up the sharpest of insights: architect Robert Livesey, for instance, describes a Bernini stoup for holy water as demonstrating a voluptuous use of marble, while the antique shops of the Via Giulia are recommended by historian Jayne Merkel as the most enticing collection of shops she has ever seen, en masse, anywhere.

The thinking behind this pocket-sized series is clear: City Secrets: Rome will be a highly attractive adjunct to whatever guidebooks you may take to Rome. The pick-and-mix approach is appealing: if you're not tempted by one voice, simply move on to the next. Few will notice that the maps on double pages lose detail in the middle, or the preponderance of American voices. The high production standards and variety of views available make City Secrets: Rome a highly cherishable little book. --Barry Forshaw

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and original 5 Feb 2001
This is not a stand-alone guide to Rome, for you won't find any practical travel information (though it should be said that the information given on restaurants and the dishes they serve is already reason enough to buy this book!). Rather is it a perfect adjunct to other travel guides. The concept is highly original and clever: the reader is presented not with one but many insiders' views, opinions and recommendations. This results in a kaliedoscope image of the Eternal City. Moreover, this book offers one the perfect opportunity to discover Roman charms off the beaten track. A wonderful book for anyone who wants to get to know Rome itself, and not just see the Colosseum and the Trevi fountain.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for adding to your visit to Rome 2 Jun 2003
By buono
I bought this about a week before leaving for the Eternal City. It was a useful week as I made notes on all the places I wanted to visit.
I am pleased to say that I have a good knowledge of Rome. In my case this book added some real gems to my visit. Great places to stop and have an ice cream, coffee, evening meal. Plus some great places to sit down and have a read.
Of course, other guide books have these but this little book takes you off the beaten track. Not so much that a Roman novice would get lost, but just enough to take you away from the tourists.
the book is very much geared towards little gems hidden within easy walking distance from them.
In summary, first time Romans will enjoy seeing the places that Romans usually keep to themselves. Experienced visitors to Rome will discover what other jewels are speckled around the city.
In either case, this book will greatly enhance your enjoyment of an already incredible city.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the only book to take to Rome 8 Jun 2007
Ditch all those boring guide books and take this little gem with you. It will take you to all those hidden restaurants that only the locals seem to know about and point out the details that make any historic city fascinating ( and that you might otherwise miss)

There are some out of date entries however ( like the english langauge cinema in Trastevere) so do what I did - have a map marked up with interesting restaurants, gelaterias and cafes and then hop from one to the other as you pass the major sights!
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