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CITY OF THE SOUL:
A Walk in Rome

One in the Crown Journeys series
Author: William Murray

“One lifetime is not enough for Rome,” the famous saying goes, and anyone who’s ever been there knows these words to be true. In City of the Soul, William Murray begins to show us why.

Growing up in Rome and spending much of his life in the city, William Murray is an expert guide as he takes us on an intimate walking tour of some of Rome’s most glorious achievements, illuminating the history and the mythology that define the city. Murray leads us through the centro, the city’s historic downtown center. He writes about the Villa Borghese, the Piazza di Spagna, and the Trevi Fountain and describes such singular attractions as the Capuchin Church of Santa Maria della Concezione, whose macabre crypt has impressed visitors from Mark Twain to the Marquis de Sade.

As he walks, he reveals stories that only a longtime resident would know, capturing the sights, sounds, and flavors that make Rome a combination of the deep past and the ever-sensual present.

From Publishers Weekly
"Rome is so many things, but most of all, perhaps, a city of ghosts, of memories, of visions, of time remembered and faithfully honored," writes Murray (Janet, My Mother and Me) in this highly evocative, largely personal guide to the Italian capital, the latest addition to the Crown Journeys series.

Having spent much of his childhood and early adulthood in Rome, Murray has many ghosts, memories and visions to exhume. Thankfully for readers, he keeps the reminiscing to a minimum and fits up a straightforward and well-researched but still romantic-and even, at times, funny-portrait of the city and its people. "Rome is nothing if not a feast for the eyes," Murray muses, and his descriptions of the city's many churches, ruins, fountains and piazzas display his quirky assessments: the Palazzo Venezia reminds him of "an old-fashioned typewriter," the Piazza Navona is "God's waiting room" and the Coliseum boasts a "great yawning fa‡ade staring out... to testify to the city's imperial past." Murray doesn't hesitate to share negative depictions, either: the Campo dei Fiori, "not one of Rome's prettier scenes," is "hemmed in by the burnt-orange and amber-colored houses around it, and an air of doom seems to hang over it, even at noon on crowded market days."

Like a nice walk, Murray's work is leisurely yet not too long, inspiring daydreams of zooming around town on a Vespa in an espresso-induced state of ecstasy. Map not seen by PW.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

$16.95 (hardcover)
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