Synopses & Reviews
Take a Roman holiday with some of the worlds greatest writers
Explore the Palatine with Elizabeth Bowen. Visit the temple of the Vestal Virgins with Georgina Masson. Analyze Michelangelos Moses with Sigmund Freud. Stroll through ancient streets with Goethe and with Henry James. Share Alice Steinbachs midnight epiphany on a shabby hotel balcony. Learn the art of love from Ovid. Visit villas and gardens with Edith Wharton. Enjoy Romes myriad moods and pleasures with Robert Browning, Eleanor Clark, Susan Vreeland, and many others.
An irresistible collection of writing about one of the worlds most beloved destinations, The Smiles of Rome spans the centuries from ancient times to the present day. Each essay resonates with the richness and turmoil of the past and overflows with a great wealth of fascinating facts and intriguing tidbits for todays avid readers and travelers.
“Rome,” writes Susan Cahill, “has the power to blow your mind and heart.” This delicious, many-layered collection honoring the city that is the heart and soul of European civilization has the same power to thrill.
"Collecting the essays, stories and poems of great writers from both the ancient and modern worlds, this volume offers an intoxicating and often heartbreaking tribute to the elusive power of the eternal city. 'Rome does not need to make culture,' Federico Fellini states in a conversation reproduced here, 'It is culture.' Edith Wharton assuaged her loneliness in the gardens of the Villa Borghese, and Nathaniel Hawthorne conceded, 'Rome certainly does draw into itself my heart.' Turning an already stellar selection of writings into a practical guide for the literary-minded, editor Cahill then extracts from each piece the places mentioned and provides updated information (including addresses, phone numbers and nearby dining suggestions) for the traveler who wishes to retrace the steps of Goethe and St. Paul, among others. Through these pages, the city lives, breathes and seduces. How can one go wrong with Ovid's instructive and witty 'The Art of Love' or John Updike's 'Twin Beds in Rome,' a bracing short story of a couple haunted by the city's ghosts as well as their own? 'Rome is surely the most beautiful city in Italy, if not the world,' wrote Pier Paolo Pasolini. 'But it is also the most ugly, the most welcoming, the most dramatic, the richest, the most wretched.' This dichotomy has bewitched people for centuries, whether they be icons of literature or not, and those who haven't visited Rome may find themselves planning their own trip after perusing this vibrant collection." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
For lovers of Italy and travelers alike, Cahill has produced an anthology like no other, with contributions from Elizabeth Bowen, Ovid, Michelangelo, Saint Peter, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Federico Fellini.