The Secrets of Rome

Love and Death in the Eternal City
By Corrado Augias

In The Secrets of Rome, author Corrado Augias follows twenty-seven centuries of Roman history in what is the most comprehensive and intriguing exploration of Rome ever to be published. Augias, who is one of Italy’s best known and celebrated writers, traces the Eternal City’s history with the same scrutiny and passion found in his earlier chronicles of Paris, New York, and London, presenting a definitive biography of a city that has defined western civilization through the ages.

The Secrets of Rome provides illuminating detail on a cast of infamous historical figures such as Lucrezia Borgia, whose questionable reputation as part of a Renaissance power family includes rumors of incest and criminal politics. Tracing the violent origins of Romulus¹s stomping ground to its incarnation as the epicenter of the Roman Empire and subsequent birthplace of the Renaissance, The Secrets of Rome uncovers secrets that have shaped the city without our ever knowing it. Renowned author and cultural critic Umberto Eco calls the work, “a series of stories that made me rediscover the Eternal City.”

An unprecedented study of Italy’s capital city that reads like a captivating conversation, The Secrets of Rome covers topics from Aurelian walls, the Jewish ghetto, Caravaggio’s genius to Nero and his Domus Aurea, Gramsci and Pasolini and the Cenci and Casati scandals. Woven throughout are musings on art, architecture and literature, with a special section of rare photographs adding lucid visual detail. The Secrets of Rome is the magnum opus of Augias’ extensive career, and is essential not only in understanding the history of Rome but in order to comprehend the complete scope of contemporary society.

CORRADO AUGIAS is a celebrated author and journalist who has divided his life outside of Italy between Paris, London, and New York, where he worked as a correspondent for the magazine L’Espresso and the newspaper La Repubblica. His books include Secrets of Paris (1966), Il viaggiatore alato:
Vita di Amedeo Modigliani (1998), Secrets of New York, and Secrets of London (all published by Mondadori). He is a well-known TV journalist, and has written a number of successful screenplays for television shows and films in Italy.

“The Secrets of Rome is an intelligent, literate tour of Rome in which the author moves gracefully between past and present, between neighborhoods, monuments, literary texts, and movies to offer a rich, layered, and highly readable narrative of the world’s most beautiful city.” ­ Alexander Stille, author, journalist, and San Paolo Professor of Journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University

“Corrado Augias shows us the hidden soul of Rome. His secrets are not just curious anecdotes, but divulge, through the author’s storytelling, the spirit, emotions and sweat of 2,700 years of history.” (Il Sole 24 Ore, Cinzia Dal Maso)

“Stories, sites and celebrity: Corrado Augias tells the story of the Eternal City ­ from Romulus to Rubirosa. Donning Indiana Jones¹s famous hat, with pick in hand, Augias excavates the deepest parts of Rome with surprising, superior, results.” (Il Giornale, Leonardo Colombati)


By Corrado Augias
Hardcover, 5 1/4 x 8 1/2′, 432 pages
Rizzoli Ex Libris
ISBN: 0-8478-2933
Rights: World English Language
Release date: June 2007

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