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Books, Europe, Italy

Books Set In Rome: Roman Novels

As an ancient civilization and one of the oldest occupied cities in Europe, there is no shortage of books set in beautiful Rome. This list includes a wide range of titles that capture the eternal city, from ancient times through to the present day. I hope these titles will transport you to the Italian capital, or perhaps even accompany you on a visit! 🇮🇹

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Books Set in Rome: Introduction

In 117AD when the Roman Empire reached its territorial peak, it spanned from Britain to Egypt across an incredible 2.5 million square miles. Many of the titles below are set during this period and right across the empire, including the epic I, Claudius by Robert Graves, bestseller Imperium by Robert Harris and Roma by Steven Saylor.

The modern city of Rome covers a much smaller area of about 800 square miles, and is just as celebrated in literature. Some contemporary books set in Rome include romance The Food of Love by Anthony Capella, thriller The Lost Girls of Rome by Donato Carrisi and historical fiction Early One Morning by Virginia Baily.

Books Set in Rome: Shortlist

If you’re short on time, these are my personal picks for books set in Rome:

  1. The Woman of Rome by Alberto Moravia
  2. That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana by Carlo Emilio Gadda
  3. The Food of Love by Anthony Capella
  4. Tiger, Tiger by Lynne Reid Banks
  5. Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous
  6. The Italian Wedding by Nicky Pellegrino
  7. The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato
  8. The Lost Girls of Rome by Donato Carrisi
  9. Early One Morning by Virginia Baily

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Books Set In Rome


Books Set in Rome: The Italian by Ann Radcliffe. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

1. The Italian by Ann Radcliffe, 1797

From the first moment Vincentio di Vivaldi, a young nobleman, sets eyes on the veiled figure of Ellena, he is captivated by her enigmatic beauty and grace. But his haughty and manipulative mother is against the match and enlists the help of her confessor to come between them. Note: mostly set in southern Italy and Rome.
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Books Set in Rome: Italian Journey by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

2. Italian Journey by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1817

As Goethe travelled to Venice, Rome, Naples and Sicily he wrote many letters, which he later used as the basis for the Italian Journey. A journal full of fascinating observations on art and history, and the plants, landscape and the character of the local people he encountered, this is also a moving account of the psychological crisis from which Goethe emerged newly inspired to write the great works of his mature years.
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Books Set in Rome: The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

3. The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1860

The fragility-and the durability-of human life and art dominate this story of American expatriates in Italy in the mid-nineteenth century. The author’s evocative descriptions of classic sites made The Marble Faun a favorite guidebook to Rome for Victorian tourists, but this richly ambiguous symbolic romance is also the story of a murder, and a parable of the Fall of Man.
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Books Set in Rome: Daisy Miller by Henry James. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

4. Daisy Miller by Henry James, 1878

The young Daisy Miller, an American on holiday with her mother on the shores of Switzerland’s Lac Leman, is one of James’s most vivid and tragic characters. Daisy’s friendship with an American gentleman, Mr. Winterbourne, and her subsequent infatuation with a passionate but impoverished Italian bring to life the great Jamesian themes of Americans abroad, innocence versus experience, and the grip of fate. Note: set between Vevey, Switzerland and Rome.
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Books Set in Rome: The Child Of Pleasure by Gabriele D'Annunzio. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

5. The Child Of Pleasure by Gabriele D’Annunzio, 1889

Sperelli is a young count, who – like Joris Karl Huysmans’ Baron Des Esseintes or Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray – following family tradition, seeks beauty and despises the bourgeois world; leads an extraordinary life, which he lives as a work of art; and rejects the basic rules of morality and social interaction.
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Books Set in Rome: Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

6. Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz, 1894

Rome during the reign of Nero was a glorious place for the emperor and his court; there were grand feasts, tournaments for poets, and exciting games and circuses filling the days and nights. Petronius, a generous and noble Roman, a man of the world much in favor at the court of Nero, is intrigued by a strange tale related by his nephew Marcus Vinitius of his encounter with a mysterious young woman called Ligia with whom Vinitius falls madly in love.
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Books Set in Rome: I, Claudius by Robert Graves. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

7. I, Claudius (Claudius #1) by Robert Graves, 1934

Despised for his weakness and regarded by his family as little more than a stammering fool, the nobleman Claudius quietly survives the intrigues, bloody purges and mounting cruelty of the imperial Roman dynasties. In I, Claudius he watches from the sidelines to record the reigns of its emperors: from the wise Augustus and his villainous wife Livia to the sadistic Tiberius and the insane excesses of Caligula.
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Books Set in Rome: Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina by Robert Graves. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

8. Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (Claudius #2) by Robert Graves, 1934

In I, Claudius, Robert Graves begins the story of the limping, stammering young man who is suddenly thrust onto the throne after the death of Caligula. In Claudius the God, Graves continues the story, detailing Claudius’ 13-year reign and his ultimate downfall. It paints the vivid, tumultuous, and decadent society of ancient Rome with spectacular detail.
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Books Set in Rome: The Woman of Rome by Alberto Moravia. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

9. The Woman of Rome by Alberto Moravia, 1947

The story of Adriana, a simple girl with no fortune but her beauty who models naked for a painter, accepts gifts from men, and could never quite identify the moment when she traded her private dream of home and children for the life of a prostitute. It also tells the stories of the tortured university student Giacomo, a failed revolutionary who refuses to admit his love for Adriana; of the sinister figure of Astarita, the Secret Police officer obsessed with Adriana; and of the coarse and brutal criminal Sonzogno, who treats Adriana as his private property.
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Books Set in Rome: The Ides of March by Thornton Wilder. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

10. The Ides of March by Thornton Wilder, 1948

The Ides of March is a brilliant epistolary novel set in Julius Caesar’s Rome. In this inventive narrative, the Caesar of history becomes Caesar the human being. Wilder also resurrects the controversial figures surrounding Caesar – Cleopatra, Catullus, Cicero, and others. All Rome comes crowding through these pages – the Rome of villas and slums, beautiful women and brawling youths, spies and assassins.
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Books Set in Rome: The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone by Tennessee Williams. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

11. The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone by Tennessee Williams, 1950

The story of a wealthy, fiftyish American widow, recently a famous stage beauty, but now “drifting.” The novel opens soon after her husband’s death and her retirement from the theatre, as Mrs. Stone tries to adjust to her aimless new life in Rome. She is adjusting, too, to aging. With poignant wit and his own particular brand of relish, Williams charts her drift into an affair with a cruel young gigolo: “As compelling, as fascinating, and as technically skilled as his plays.”
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Books Set in Rome: Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

12. Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar, 1951

Marguerite Yourcenar reimagines the Emperor Hadrian’s arduous boyhood, his triumphs and reversals, and finally, as emperor, his gradual reordering of a war-torn world, writing with the imaginative insight of a great writer of the twentieth century while crafting a prose style as elegant and precise as those of the Latin stylists of Hadrian’s own era. Note: this is set in Rome, Athens and Alexandria.
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Books Set in Rome: The Ragazzi by Pier Paolo Pasolini. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

13. The Ragazzi by Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1955

An unsentimental depiction of the poverty and chaotic lives of those in the slums of 1950s postwar Rome, this novel follows Ricetto, an Italian youth, and his gang who survive by their wits, their cruelty, and their instincts for survival. Their lives are shaped by hunger, theft, betrayal, and prostitution, and they celebrate their triumphs with brutal abandon and die bleak deaths.
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Books Set in Rome: That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana by Carlo Emilio Gadda. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

14. That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana by Carlo Emilio Gadda, 1957

In a large apartment house in the center of Rome, two crimes are committed within a matter of days: a burglary, in which a good deal of money and precious jewels are taken, and a murder, as a young woman whose husband is out of town is found with her throat cut. Called in to investigate, melancholy Detective Ciccio, a secret admirer of the murdered woman and a friend of her husband’s, discovers that almost everyone in the apartment building is somehow involved in the case.
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Books Set in Rome: The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

15. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone, 1958

The Renaissance was a turbulent time of plotting princes, warring popes, the all-powerful de’ Medici family, the fanatical monk Savonarola and the brilliant young artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. A masterpiece in its own right, this novel offers a compelling portrait of Michelangelo’s dangerous, impassioned loves, and the God-driven fury from which he wrested the greatest art the world has ever known. Note: mostly set in Rome and Florence.
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Books Set in Rome: A Violent Life by Pier Paolo Pasolini. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

16. A Violent Life by Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1959

Revealing that a beautiful and cultured European city has a dark and dangerous underbelly, this novel chronicles the violent lives of Rome’s slum inhabitants. Born in a shantytown, Tommaso Puzzilli was once young and hopeful, but he soon succumbs to life on the streets, where he must resort to crime and prostitution simply to stay alive.
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Books Set in Rome: Julian by Gore Vidal. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

17. Julian by Gore Vidal, 1964

Julian the Apostate, nephew of Constantine the Great, was one of the brightest yet briefest lights in the history of the Roman Empire. A military genius on the level of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great, a graceful and persuasive essayist, and a philosopher devoted to worshiping the gods of Hellenism, he became embroiled in a fierce intellectual war with Christianity that provoked his murder at the age of thirty-two, only four years into his brilliantly humane and compassionate reign.
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Books Set in Rome: The Public Image by Muriel Spark. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

18. The Public Image by Muriel Spark, 1968

Spark chooses Rome, “the motherland of sensation,” for the setting of her story about movie star Annabel Christopher, who has made the fatal mistake of believing in her public image. This error and her embittered husband, and unsuccessful actor, catch up with her. Her final act is only the first shocking climax – further surprises await.
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Books Set in Rome: Eagle in the Snow by Wallace Breem. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

19. Eagle in the Snow by Wallace Breem, 1970

Banished to the Empire’s farthest outpost, veteran warrior Paulinus Maximus defends The Wall of Britannia from the constant onslaught of belligerent barbarian tribes. Bravery, loyalty, experience, and success lead to Maximus’ appointment as “General of the West” by the Roman emperor, the ambition of a lifetime.
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Books Set in Rome: Augustus by John Williams. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

20. Augustus by John Williams, 1972

A mere eighteen years of age when his uncle, Julius Caesar, is murdered, Octavius Caesar prematurely inherits rule of the Roman Republic. Surrounded by men who are jockeying for power – Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and Mark Antony – young Octavius must work against the powerful Roman political machinations to claim his destiny as first Roman emperor.
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Books Set in Rome: History by Elsa Morante. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

21. History by Elsa Morante, 1974

History was written nearly thirty years after Elsa Morante and Alberto Moravia spent a year in hiding among remote farming villages in the mountains south of Rome. There she witnessed the full impact of the war and first formed the ambition to write an account of what history – the great political events driven by men of power, wealth, and ambition – does when it reaches the realm of ordinary people struggling for life and bread.
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Books Set in Rome: The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

22. The Silver Pigs (Falco #1) by Lindsey Davis, 1989

When Marcus Didius Falco, a Roman ‘informer’ who has a nose for trouble that’s sharper than most, encounters Sosia Camillina in the Forum, he senses immediately all is not right with the pretty girl. She confesses to him that she is fleeing for her life, and Falco makes the rash decision to rescue her – a decision he will come to regret. Note: part of a 20 book series set in Rome and Britannia.
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Books Set in Rome: Shadows in Bronze by Lindsey Davis. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

23. Shadows in Bronze (Falco #2) by Lindsey Davis, 1990

It’s the first century A.D. and Marcus Didius Falco, Ancient Rome’s favorite son and sometime palace spy, has just been dealt a lousy blow from the gods: The beautiful, high-born Helena Justina has left him in the dust. So when the Emperor Vespasian calls upon him to investigate an act of treason, Falco is more than ready for a distraction. Note: part of a 20 book series.
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Books Set in Rome: The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

24. The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough, 1990

Here is the story of Marius, wealthy but lowborn, and Sulla, aristocratic but penniless and debauched – extraordinary men of vision whose ruthless ambition will lay the foundations of the most awesome and enduring empire known to humankind. The reader is swept into the whirlpool of pageantry, passion, splendor, chaos and earth-shattering upheaval that was ancient Rome.
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Books Set in Rome: The King's Gambit by John Maddox Roberts. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

25. The King’s Gambit (SPQR #1) by John Maddox Roberts, 1990

Vicious gangs ruled the streets of Crassus and Pompey, routinely preying on plebeian and patrician alike. So the garroting of a lowly ex-slave and the disembowelment of a foreign merchant in the dangerous Subura district seemed of little consequence to the Roman hierarchy. But Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger, high-born commander of the local vigiles, was determined to investigate. Note: part of a book series.
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Books Set in Rome: Roman Blood by Steven Saylor. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

26. Roman Blood by Steven Saylor, 1991

Elena asks that you come to the House of Swans at once. Compelled by this message, the wealthy, sybaritic Sextus Roscius goes not to his harlot, but to his doom – savagely murdered by unknown assassins. In the unseasonable heat of a spring morning in 80 B.C. Gordianus the Finder is summoned to the house of Cicero, a young advocate staking his reputation on this case.
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Books Set in Rome: Venus in Copper by Lindsey Davis. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

27. Venus in Copper (Falco #3) by Lindsey Davis, 1991

Marcus Didius Falco, ancient Rome’s hangdog investigator, hates sharing a cell with a rodent – though being bailed by his old mother is almost as embarassing. His highborn girlfriend can’t decide if she wants him and Titus Caesar’s reward for past services is a wet fish. Hoping for a better life, or at least a better apartment, he takes on new clients. Note: part of a 20 book series. Note: part of a 20 book series.
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Books Set in Rome: The Discovery of Heaven by Harry Mulisch. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

28. The Discovery of Heaven by Harry Mulisch, 1992

The Discovery of Heaven begins with the meeting of Onno and Max, two complicated individuals whom fate has mysteriously and magically brought together. They share responsibility for the birth of a remarkable and radiant boy who embarks on a mandated quest that takes the reader all over Europe and to the land where all such quests begin and end. Note: this is mostly set in the Netherlands, along with Cuba, Rome, Poland and Jerusalem.
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Books Set in Rome: Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

29. Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon #1) by Dan Brown, 2000

World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization – the Illuminati. In a desperate race to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra.
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Books Set in Rome: As the Romans Do: An American Family's Italian Odyssey by Alan Epstein. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

30. As the Romans Do: An American Family’s Italian Odyssey by Alan Epstein, 2000

In 1995, after a twenty-year love affair with Italy, Alan Epstein fulfilled his dream to live in Rome. In As the Romans Do, he celebrates the spirit of this stylish, dramatic, ancient city that formed the hub of a far-flung empire and introduced the Mediterranean culture to the rest of the world. A celebration of the character and style of one of the world’s most spectacular cities.
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Books Set in Rome: The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

31. The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland, 2001

From extraordinary highs – patronage by the Medicis, friendship with Galileo and, most importantly of all, beautiful and outstandingly original paintings – to rape by her father’s colleague, torture by the Inquisition, life-long struggles for acceptance by the artistic Establishment, and betrayal by the men she loved, Artemisia was a bold and brilliant woman who lived as she wanted, and paid a high price. Note: set in Rome, Florence, Genoa, Naples and England.
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Books Set in Rome: Roma Eterna by Robert Silverberg. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

32. Roma Eterna by Robert Silverberg, 2003

No power on Earth can resist the might of Imperial Rome, so it has been and so it ever shall be. Through brute force, terror, and sheer indomitable will, her armies have enslaved a world. From the reign of Maximilianus the Great in A.U.C. 1203 onward through the ages – into a new era of scientific advancement and astounding technologies – countless upstarts and enemies arise, only to be ground into the dust beneath the merciless Roman bootheels.
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Books Set in Rome: The Food of Love by Anthony Capella. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

33. The Food of Love by Anthony Capella, 2004

In Anthony Capella’s delicious debut novel, Laura, a twentysomething American, is on her first trip to Italy. She’s completely enamored of the art, beauty, and, of course, food that Rome has to offer. Soon she’s enamored of the handsome and charming Tommaso, who tells her he’s a chef at the famed Templi restaurant and begins to woo her with his gastronomic creations.
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Books Set in Rome: Tiger, Tiger by Lynne Reid Banks. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

34. Tiger, Tiger by Lynne Reid Banks, 2004

Two tiger cub brothers are torn from the jungle and taken to Rome. The stronger cub is trained as a killer at the Coliseum. Emperor Caesar makes a gift of the smaller cub to his beautiful daughter, Aurelia. She adores her cub, Boots, and Julius, a young animal keeper, teaches her how to earn the tiger’s trust. Boots is pampered while his brother, known as Brute, lives in a cold and dark cage, let out only to kill.
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Books Set in Rome: The Secrets of Rome: Love and Death in the Eternal City by Corrado Augias. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

35. The Secrets of Rome: Love and Death in the Eternal City by Corrado Augias, 2005

Augias moves perceptively through twenty-seven centuries of Roman life, shedding new light on a cast of famous, and infamous, historical figures and uncovering secrets and conspiracies that have shaped the city without our ever knowing it. Augias creates a sweeping account of the passions that have shaped this complex city: at once both a metropolis and a village.
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Books Set in Rome: Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

36. Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous, 2006

A small culturally mixed community living in an apartment building in the center of Rome is thrown into disarray when one of the neighbors is murdered. An investigation ensues and as each of the victim’s neighbors is questioned, the reader is offered an all-access pass into the most colorful neighborhood in contemporary Rome.
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Books Set in Rome: Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman by Friedrich Christian Delius. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

37. Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman by Friedrich Christian Delius, 2006

Rome one January afternoon in 1943. A young German woman is on her way to listen to a Bach concert at the Lutheran church. Innocent and naïve, the war is for her little more than a day-dream, until she realizes that her husband might never return.
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Books Set in Rome: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

38. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, 2006

Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want – a husband, a house, a successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. Note: set in Rome, India and Bali.
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Books Set in Rome: Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Robert Harris. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

39. Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Robert Harris, 2006

When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history.
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Books Set in Rome: A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome by Alberto Angela. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

40. A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome by Alberto Angela, 2007

The roar of frenzied spectators inside the Coliseum during a battle between gladiators. A crowd of onlookers gathered around a slave driver. The wondrous plenty of banquets where flamingos are roasted whole and wine flows like rivers. The silence of the baths and the boisterous taverns. Many books have dealt with the history of ancient Rome, but none has been able to bring its readers so near to daily life in the Imperial capital.
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Books Set in Rome: Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

41. Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr, 2007

On the same day that his wife gave birth to twins, Anthony Doerr received the Rome Prize, an award that gave him a year-long stipend and studio in Rome. This book charts the repercussions of that day, describing Doerr’s varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world, and the first year of parenthood.
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Books Set in Rome: When We Were Romans: A Novel by Matthew Kneale. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

42. When We Were Romans: A Novel by Matthew Kneale, 2007

Nine-year-old Lawrence is the man in his family. He carefully watches over his willful little sister, Jemima, and his mother, Hannah. When Hannah becomes convinced that their estranged father is stalking them, the family flees London and heads for Rome, where Hannah lived happily as a young woman. For Lawrence, fascinated by stories of popes and emperors, Rome is an adventure.
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Books Set in Rome: Roma by Steven Saylor. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

43. Roma by Steven Saylor, 2007

Spanning a thousand years, and following the shifting fortunes of two families though the ages, this is the epic saga of Rome, the city and its people. Weaving history, legend, and new archaeological discoveries into a spellbinding narrative, critically acclaimed novelist Steven Saylor gives new life to the drama of the city’s first thousand years.
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Books Set in Rome: The Italian Wedding by Nicky Pellegrino. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

44. The Italian Wedding by Nicky Pellegrino, 2008

Settled in London and with their own delicious slice of home in the form of Beppi’s restaurant, “Little Italy,” the Martinelli’s are a typical Italian family – fighting, eating, and loving in equal measure. Now, Pieta’s sister Addolorata is getting married. Since Pieta is a bridal designer it falls to her to make the wedding gown. But she is distracted by a series of family mysteries. Note: set between London and Rome.
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Books Set in Rome: The Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

45. The Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane, 2008

Romulus and Fabiola are twins, born into slavery after their mother is raped by a drunken nobleman. At thirteen-years-old, they are sold – Romulus to gladiator school, Fabiola into prostitution where she will catch the eye of one of the most powerful men in Rome.
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Books Set in Rome: Rome Noir by Chiara Stangalino. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

46. Rome Noir by Chiara Stangalino, 2009

Rome Noir, a collection of short stories that look beyond the tourist facade of Italy’s capital. This is the real city of Fellini, Pasolini, and countless other major artists who devoted their lives to depicting its grandeur and decadence.
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Books Set in Rome: Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

47. Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran, 2009

Selene’s legendary parents are gone. Her country taken, she has been brought to the city of Rome in chains, with only her twin brother, Alexander, to remind her of home and all she once had. Living under the watchful eyes of the ruling family, Selene and her brother must quickly learn how to be Roman – and how to be useful to Caesar.
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Books Set in Rome: Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

48. Mistress of Rome (Empress of Rome #1) by Kate Quinn, 2010

Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, passionate, musical, and guarded. Purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia, Thea will become her mistress’s rival for the love of Arius the Barbarian, Rome’s newest and most savage gladiator. His love brings Thea the first happiness of her life – that is quickly ended when a jealous Lepida tears them apart. Note: part of a 4 book series.
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Books Set in Rome: The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

49. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, 2010

Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Rome, Tom Rachman’s wry, vibrant debut follows the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters, editors, and executives of an international English language newspaper as they struggle to keep it – and themselves – afloat.
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Books Set in Rome: The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

50. The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato, 2010

When part-time model and full-time prostitute Luciana Vetra is asked by one of her most exalted clients to pose for a painter friend, she doesn’t mind serving as the model for the central figure of Flora in Sandro Botticelli’s masterpiece “Primavera.” But when the artist dismisses her without payment, Luciana impulsively steals an unfinished version of the painting – only to find that somone is ready to kill her to get it back.
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Books Set in Rome: Me and You by Niccolò Ammaniti. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

51. Me and You by Niccolò Ammaniti, 2010

Lorenzo has a few issues. They include the fact that he doesn’t have, or want, any friends. Because this is making his parents unhappy, he tells them he has been invited on a skiing holiday with a group from school. In fact, he is planning to spend the week happily ensconced in the cellar of their apartment building with a supply of canned tuna.
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Books Set in Rome: Rome Tales by Helen Constantine. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

52. Rome Tales by Helen Constantine, 2011

Presenting a vivid mosaic of dramatic, comic, and tragic stories, all set in the Eternal City, these twenty absorbing tales capture the delight of discovering and exploring one of the world’s most beloved cities. Spanning seven hundred years, this marvelous collection includes works by Italian authors ranging from Boccaccio and Casanova to Pier Paolo Pasolini and Alberto Moravia.
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Books Set in Rome: I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

53. I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith, 2011

At the tender age of fourteen, Livia Drusilla overhears her father and fellow aristocrats plotting the assassination of Julius Caesar. Proving herself an astute confidante, she becomes her father’s chief political asset – and reluctantly enters into an advantageous marriage to a prominent military officer.
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Books Set in Rome: The Lost Girls of Rome by Donato Carrisi. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

54. The Lost Girls of Rome by Donato Carrisi, 2011

Sandra Vega, a forensic analyst with the Roman police department, mourns deeply for a marriage that ended too soon. A few months ago, in the dead of night, her husband, an up-and-coming journalist, plunged to his death at the top of a high-rise construction site. The police ruled it an accident. Sanda is convinced it was anything but.
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Books Set in Rome: Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

55. Daughters of Rome (Empress of Rome #2) by Kate Quinn, 2011

A.D. 69. Nero is dead. The Roman Empire is up for the taking. With bloodshed spilling out of the palace and into the streets of Rome, chaos has become the status quo. The Year of Four Emperors will change everything – especially the lives of two sisters with a very personal stake in the outcome. Note: part of a 4 book series.
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Books Set in Rome: Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

56. Empress of the Seven Hills (Empress of Rome #3) by Kate Quinn, 2012

Brash and headstrong, Vix is a celebrated ex-gladiator returned to Rome to make his fortune. The sinuous, elusive Sabina is a senator’s daughter who craves adventure. Sometimes lovers, sometimes enemies, Vix and Sabina are united by their devotion to Trajan. But others are already maneuvering in the shadows. Note: part of a 4 book series.
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Books Set in Rome: Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

57. Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant, 2013

By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy is matched by its brutality and corruption, nowhere more than in Rome and inside the Church. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI, he is defined not just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children, but by his blood: He is a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. Note: set across multiple Italian cities.
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Books Set in Rome: The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

58. The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis, 2013

Based on real historical events: mysterious poisonings, in which victims died, often unaware they had been attacked. Albia is now 28 and an established female investigator. Her personal history and her British birth enable her to view Roman society and its traditions as a bemused outsider and also as a woman struggling for independence in a man’s world.
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Books Set in Rome: Ties by Domenico Starnone. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

59. Ties by Domenico Starnone, 2014

Ties is the story of a marriage. Like many marriages, this one has been subject to strain, to attrition, to the burden of routine. Yet it has survived intact. Or so things appear. The rupture in Vanda and Aldo’s marriage lies years in the past, but if one looks closely enough, the fissures and fault lines are evident. Their marriage is a cracked vase that may shatter at the slightest touch. Note: set between Naples and Rome.
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Books Set in Rome: Early One Morning by Virginia Baily. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

60. Early One Morning by Virginia Baily, 2015

Chiara Ravello is about to flee occupied Rome when she locks eyes with a woman being herded on to a truck with her family. Claiming the woman’s son, Daniele, as her own nephew, Chiara demands his return; only as the trucks depart does she realize what she has done. She is twenty-seven, with a sister who needs her constant care, a hazardous journey ahead, and now a child in her charge.
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Books Set in Rome: Conclave by Robert Harris. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

61. Conclave by Robert Harris, 2016

The Pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.
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Books Set in Rome: One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Lamprell. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

62. One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Lamprell, 2016

An enchanting novel about three couples drawn irresistibly to Rome, narrated by the city itself. Alice, an art student in New York City, has come to Rome in search of adventure and inspiration before settling down with her steady, safe fiancé. Meg and Alec, busy parents and successful business people from LA, are on a mission to find the holy grail, a certain blue tile. Connie and Lizzie are women of a certain age – who come from London to scatter the ashes of their beloved husband and brother.
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Books Set in Rome: The Invitation by Lucy Foley. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

63. The Invitation by Lucy Foley, 2016

Rome, 1953: Hal, an itinerant journalist flailing in the post-war darkness, has come to the Eternal City to lose himself and to seek absolution for the thing that haunts him. One evening he finds himself on the steps of a palazzo, walking into a world of privilege and light. Here, on a rooftop above the city, he meets the mysterious Stella. Hal and Stella are from different worlds, but their connection is magnetic. Note: this is set in multiple locations across Italy, America, Morocco and Spain.
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Books Set in Rome: The Rome Affair by Karen Swan. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

64. The Rome Affair by Karen Swan, 2017

1974 and Elena Damiani lives a gilded life. Born to wealth and a noted beauty, no door is closed to her, no man can resist her. At twenty-six, she is already onto her third husband when she meets her love match. But he is the one man she can never have, and all the beauty and money in the world can’t change it. 2017 and Francesca Hackett is living la dolce vita in Rome, leading tourist groups around the Eternal City and forgetting the ghosts she left behind in London. 
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Books Set in Rome: The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

65. The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George, 2017

Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar’s imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman or child. As a boy, Nero’s royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son’s inheritance.
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Books Set in Rome: The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman. rome books, rome novels, rome literature, rome fiction, rome historical fiction, ancient rome books, rome books fiction, best rome novels, best rome fiction, ancient rome fiction, ancient rome novels, roman authors, best books set in rome, popular books set in rome, books about rome, rome reading challenge, rome reading list, rome travel, rome history, rome travel books, rome books to read, novels set in rome, books to read about rome, books to read before going to rome, books set in italy, italy books

66. The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman, 2018

Rome, 1955. The artists are gathering together for a photograph. In one of Rome’s historic villas, a party is bright with near-genius, shaded by the socialite patrons of their art. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god. Larger than life, muscular in both figure and opinion, he blazes at art criticism and burns half his paintings. Note: this is set between Rome, London, Toronto, New York, France, and Pennsylvania.
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What do you think of these books set in Rome?

Have you visited Rome? Are you planning a trip there soon? What are your favorite books set in Rome? Do you know some books set in Rome that are missing from this list? I’d love to hear more about your tips for books set in Rome below! 

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