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I went to Rome and I read…


I was lucky enough to be in a Rome for a few days last week, and even luckier to have the time to read these two books. Having walked across St Peter’s Square, visited the Vatican, and stood in the Sistine Chapel what could be better than Robert Harris’s page-turning novel ‘Conclave’ about a papal election? Not only could I picture the setting, the details of the electoral procedure and the role of the Conclave all made a lot more sense and made for a gripping read.

Elizabeth Buchan’s “Two Women in Rome” was a great read too. When a newly married archivist arrives in Rome and discovers a valuable 15th century painting, she is intrigued by the woman who left it behind. On the face of it, Nina Lawrence had a rewarding life, restoring Italian gardens to their former glory – so why was no one at her funeral when she died at the age of 38? Lottie is gradually drawn into Nina’s story, set against the backdrop of post-war Italy, a time of turmoil, secrets and betrayals. Atmospheric, with an intriguing plot line and lots of it set in and around Trastevere. A thoroughly enjoyable and engaging novel. 

Either of these take your fancy?