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Quiet Corners of Rome reviewed on

Here’s the first part of Jesse Kornbluth’s incisive, honest and flattering review of Quiet Corners of Rome, and a link to the complete review. This is excellent news! Jesse’s review of Quiet Corners of Paris (which I translated and adapted) brought many eyes to that book. So, thank you, Jesse!


[…] Rome…quiet? The city’s one giant Vespa with a hole in the muffler. Traffic’s anarchy. Packs of tourists — 39 million a year — clog every public square with a barista nearby. And does anyone go to an office in the morning? Judging from the partying that goes deep into the night, it surely doesn’t seem like it.

And it’s been this way forever. Horace (65 BC – 8 BC) complained of “the smoke, the wealth, the noise!”

Yet here is another of the “Quiet Corners” series. On the strength of “Quiet Corners of Paris,” it should be solid. [To buy “Quiet Corners of Paris” from Amazon, click here.] And, mostly, it is. [To buy “Quiet Corners of Rome” from Amazon, click here.]

To his credit, David Downie does not cheat. There are 900 churches in Rome, and a lazy guide could have pointed you to a great many of them. But Downie is a realist — he’s often talking about a literal quiet corner that’s tucked away behind some major tourist destination. Like Via del Colle Oppio, an isolated bench just a hundred yards from the Coliseum. Or the Courtyard of Museo Pietro Canonica at the highly trafficked Villa Borghese — this gem, he says, is “atmospheric” and “little visited.” READ THE WHOLE REVIEW

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