The Art and History of Rome: Rome by Robert Hughes
Rome is fantastic! There is no other way to put it. Robert Hughes has written a history of Rome, with art as the central character, and the rest merely bit players. His stunning descriptions of the art and architecture transport you to Rome, and the distant times with a verve that is breathtaking. As I read this I felt as if I had to immediately take a voyage – even to revisit those sights I’ve seen before. Hughes’ writing is excellent, some of the best I’ve read in a long time. He certainly makes the painting, architecture, sculpture and ambience of Rome vividly clear to the reader. His savage wit and iconoclasm make what could be a weighty tome (given its subject matter) into a joy to read. If you like art, history, Rome or just a damn fine read then you must read this book. You can get it from Amazon here: Rome: A Cultural, Visual and Personal History.