Reading Around the World: Rome

Reading Around the World is a new feature that combines my love of travelling with my love of reading. Each month I plan to spotlight either a city I have visited, or a city I plan to visit in the near future, and recommend some of my favourite books set there. After all even if you can’t visit these cities yourself the next best thing has to be reading about them and living the experience through the eyes of the characters.

Rome (1)

Rome is a city that surprised me in the best way possible, I fell in love the second I arrived there and it became one of my favourite places in the world, only narrowly beaten out by Amsterdam. Like London Rome is a city full of history, places like the Coliseum and the Roman Forum still standing tall for the world to see. I’ve seen all Rome has to offer in the two trips to the city I’ve been on – the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Vatican, among others – but I still want to go back one day and see it all again.

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Invictus by Ryan Graudin is a unique book. Not only does it show us Rome in the future but also the Rome of the past, when the Roman Empire was at its height and gladiators fought in the Coliseum. The crew of the Invictus travel all over time, from the sinking of the Titanic to the fall of the Great Library of Alexandria, but they always return to Rome, either the Rome of 2371 or the Rome of 95AD.

Invictus

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan is another book in a series that travels to Rome as Percy and the rest of the crew aboard the Argo II begin their quest to stop Gaia from waking. Annabeth follows the Mark of Athena along the River Tiber while the others find themselves battling for their lives in the Coliseum. The Heroes of Olympus series also show us the Roman side of the Gods we know from the first books. Instead of Poseidon, Zeus and Hera Percy and his friends find themselves dealing with Neptune, Jupiter and Juno.

The Heroes of Olympus Series

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor is the last book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Where book one took us to Prague and book two took us to Morocco book three takes us to Rome and the Vatican City. As the angel emperor bring his army to the human world what better place to make a stand than a place they would be worshipped.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters


Have you ever been to Rome before; what was your favourite part of the city to see and explore? Also what are some of the amazing books you’ve read set in Rome, or Italy, that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments.

Let me know in the comments.

64 thoughts on “Reading Around the World: Rome

  1. Well, this is just absolutely delightful. I have thought of this too. I would like to read “Dracula” in Romania, Edith Hamilton’s “Mythology” in Greece, the Middle Earth books of Tolkien in Norway, “Moby Dick” or “Treasure Island” on a ship at sea, “White Fang” in Alaska, and a favorite manga of mine in Japan, which I have already done the Japan one.

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  2. I love how you connected traveling and books — those are two of my favorite things as well 😊📚 I did go to Rome over the summer, and oh my goodness. The grass around the Colosseum did not look as gorgeous and green as it did in your pictures. Of course Rick Riordan’s books have to be on this list, though I haven’t heard of Invictus before — I’m excited to get my hands on that 😄 And btw, I love the unique blurring you put on your photos (like the one where you blurred out the people at the bottom of a street?) It looks very cool 😋👍

    I enjoyed reading your post! 😃

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    1. Thanks so much Zoie, I love reading and I love travelling so it was just natural to combine the two in this feature. Oh I was lucky that I had just amazing weather when I was in Rome, and I’ve been twice so I chose the best photos from each trip to publish in this post. 😀
      Rick Riordan’s books are amazing, but Invictus is incredible as well, I’d definitely recommend it. 🙂
      Thanks so much. Yeah I’d feel a little weird about including people’s faces on my blog when I don’t know them, the blurring just means I can use photos I took in crowds and don’t have to worry about it.
      Thanks again Zoie, I’m really glad you enjoyed this post! 🙂 ❤️

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  3. Rome is a city that I have wanted to visit for AGES and I really hope that I will get the chance to do that in the future. As I’m studying Art History it would be amazing to see the things I learned in person! 😀 Also, your pictures are simply gorgeous! ❤
    I had no idea that Invictus takes place in Rome!? I only knew that it was about time travel. This makes me even more exited to get my hands on that book!! 😀 I loved that the characters in The Heroes of Olympus got to explore the "old world" – it was great seeing it from their perspective!
    Great post Beth! ❤ 🙂

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  4. I love this idea so much!! I actually live in Rome! I think my favorite book by an italian author is Andrea Camilleri who has written many mysteries!
    My favorite places are my home hahahaha and Villa Borghese, a park full of grass and trees 😀

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    1. Thanks so much, and wow I’d love to live in Rome but then again I can’t imagine leaving England. 🙂
      I’m assuming Andrea Camilleri’s books are set in Italy then? Either way it sounds like she has a lot of releases for you to get through and Villa Borghese sounds lovely as well. 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much Meghan, and oh I really hope you manage to make it to Rome one day. I’m sure you’d really love it there. 🙂
      In the meantime you can read the books to get some of the travelling experience. Oh Rick Riordan is just an incredible author, and I loved the Heroes of Olympus series so yes definitely get to those books the second you have a chance! 😀

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      1. You’re welcome! Oh I hope, one day!
        I’m actually starting up a new list of middle grade books to read since I’m just about finished the list of series I previously wrote, so his series will definitely be on it! 🙂

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  5. My fave new series, awesome Beth! your photos are STUNNING & just really motivate me to get my traveling pants on lol. You pretty much mentioned the books I read that take place in Rome. Since Yo’ve started this feature I’ve been noting the setting in the book I read a lot more closely haha! 😆

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    1. Thanks so so much Lilly! 🙂 Looking through photos from my past holidays for this feature makes me want to travel more as well. 🙂
      Ohh, did you enjoy these books then? All three are favourites of mine so I hope you loved them as well.
      Ha, yeah the setting of the books I read has always been a major part of the overall reading experience for me. I’ve kind of travelled the world through the books I’ve read! 🙂

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      1. Oh Laini’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy is still one of my all time top faves so yea loved the locations they took place in as well. I’m looking forward to seeing your next post in this feature 🙂

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  6. I’d love to visit Rome, it seems like such a beautiful city. Invictus sounds really interesting, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about Ryan Graudin’s books. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy sounds good – I haven’t read any books set in those places.

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    1. It’s an incredible city, and if you get a chance to go there definitely do. Invictus is an incredible book as well. It was one of my most anticipated releases for this year and it more than lived up to my expectations. If you pick it up I hope you enjoy it, and the same goes for the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. 🙂

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    1. All of Italy is on my bucket list as well. So far I’ve been to Rome, Milan and Venice but there are plenty of other cities I really want to go to one day. Hopefully we’ll both be able to cross it off our bucket lists soon. 😀
      Dreams of Gods and Monsters is an incredible book, actually the whole series is incredible. I really hope you enjoy it when you get around to it Shanah. 🙂

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      1. If you’re interested I will be posting about Venice through this feature in December! 😀
        It’s a beautiful city, while Rome is my favourite Italian city so far Venice was the most striking/memorable. Definitely go as soon as you get a chance, I think you’d love it over there. 😀

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  7. I really love this feature, Beth! Also, funny story: I almost went to Rome this summer…turned out I couldn’t because we had some technicalities issues haha but it’s still super high on my bucket list, I can’t wait to go there some day – maybe next summer? Your pictures are stuning and make me want to go so badly 🙂
    I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned here, but I really want to read the Laini’s book series, it sounds so, so good 🙂

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    1. Thanks Marie! 😀 Oh that’s a shame, but I know you’ll get there one day. I was actually supposed to go to Rome before I did the first time, but those plans fell through and eventually I made it there. 🙂 I’ll keep my fingers crossed you do make it next summer then. Thanks so much Marie. ❤
      Oh I'd highly recommend Laini Taylor's books, she's one of my favourite authors and her writing is just so beautiful. Hopefully you'll love them as much as I did. 🙂

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  8. This is a great new feature! I visited Rome on a tour of Italy with a friend but unfortunately we had some terrible experiences there and left early! I loved the Colosseum, however!

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    1. Thanks so much Hannah. 🙂 Oh Rome is a brilliant city, one of my favourites that I’ve been to so far, so I’d highly recommend going if you get a chance. It’s so beautiful.
      Laini Taylor is one of my favourite authors, and her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is one of my all-time favourites as well. ❤

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      1. Morbid but it gets the point across. 🙂 Also I have a list like that, and at the moment it’s probably longer than my TBR list is! 😀
        Yes I completely agree. I mean, it can be hard to get into at first but when you do it’s like you’re in a whole new world! 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much, I’m really glad you’re loving this feature. I have a lot more planned and a lot more cities to feature. 🙂
      Invictus is a brilliant book, a favourite of mine now, I really hope you enjoy it and the future posts I have planned for this feature! 😀

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    1. Thanks so much Dani! 😀 ❤ Rome is such an incredible city, and yeah I didn't get more than a couple of days both times I went but they were an amazing couple of days. 🙂
      Oh I spent hours walking around the Vatican, I can see why it's a favourite of your Dani, and yeah the Trevi Fountain was gorgeous as well.
      I spent a lot of time searching for books for this feature. Do you plan to pick any of these up? If so I hope you enjoy them. 😀

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  9. I spent 11 days over there and loved it, can’t wait to go back!
    I’ve read all of Rick Riordan’s Heros of Olympus Series and he’s the only author that doesn’t bore me with his descriptions.
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone I haven’t read but I’ll be adding it to my TBR as well as Invictus.
    I couldn’t even say my favorite place I loved the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, the Old Appian Way and the Church of Domine Quo Vadis… of course the gelatos too!

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    1. I’d love to go back as well. Eleven days must have given you a lot of time to see everything Rome has to offer, I bet it was a great trip for you.
      That’s great to hear. Rick Riordan is a favourite author of mine so I’m glad you love his books as well. I also really hope you enjoy Invictus and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, again both of those are favourites of mine. 😀
      Oh I haven’t been to any of those places, I’ll have to make a note of them for my next trip to Rome though. 🙂 I did eat a lot of gelato though, it’s just irresistible.

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  10. That’s fun since I live in Rome 🙂 I’m curious about how Graudin has represented Rome. To be fair, I didn’t like of Taylor portrayed the city. Not because it was wrong but beacuse it was vague. I didn’t feel any Roman kinda vibes. But that probably make sense only to me.

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    1. Oh wow really? Rome is a city I think I’d love to live in but I’d never really want to leave London/England you know?
      Hopefully you’ll enjoy how Graudin represented Rome then, I can’t say for sure given I don’t live there but I thought it was incredible how she portrayed the city. That’s a shame about how Taylor wrote Dreams of Gods and Monsters, did you enjoy the book despite that though? 🙂

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      1. About Laini’s series, yes I still enjoyed a lot the book! I’m quite pesimistic, so I don’t really know how much you would love to live in Rome for long time. Today the city stopped because it rained and street were flooded. The metro stopped and so. That’s funny because I’ve the dream of living in London ❤

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      2. That’s good to hear about Laini Taylor’s series. And yeah I can imagine that must be kind of annoying, one good thing about London is that it takes a lot to shut us down; rain, snow, heatwave, doesn’t matter we keep on going. 🙂
        I guess it’s a case of the grass is greener on the other side. 🙂 ❤

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    1. It was a great book, and actually all of the Heroes of Olympus series was pretty incredible wasn’t it? 🙂
      Thanks so much, I’m really glad you enjoyed this post and if you pick up either of the other two books I featured this week I hope you enjoy them. 🙂

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