As an unabashed Italophile myself, one who is lucky enough to have called Rome home for over 20 years, I was bound to be fascinated by a newly released book entitled She Seduced Me: A Love Affair with Rome, written by American author Mark Tedesco.
Here’s a bit of background about the book:
“I resisted, but she drew me back. I stayed away, but she beckoned me. I distanced myself, but she haunted me. I even rejected her but she did not abandon me…”
She Seduced Me is that rare book in which the reader becomes part of a magical world in which places, monuments and artists come alive through their stories. In this case, however, that world is Rome and the reader becomes a participant in the ebb and flow of the city and gains insight into why so many have fallen in love with Rome despite its faults.
This work of nonfiction is divided into chapters in which the reader experiences aspects of art, culture, history and the present through the eyes of the writer and of the inhabitants of Rome, past and present.
The journey commences with the reader accompanying the author who, standing in front of Michelangelo’s Moses statue, mouth agape, almost hears the artist scream at his creation: “Speak!” From this an odyssey of wonder begins: what is the story behind the Trevi fountain, behind that rock in the middle of the Roman Forum, behind all those priests and nuns everywhere, behind everything one stumbles upon, wonders about and takes selfies in front of? The quest is to uncover those stories.
Author and reader continue to explore the life in the piazzas, experience camaraderie with street performers, see history through all the senses, get lost in Rome, observe Americans and foreigners, discover unique places to eat, speak with Romans, explore the houses of Nero, Augustus and Livia, encounter Caravaggio and chats with expats.
This work is a virtual tour through a magical city that educates and enthralls.
“Everything in Rome has a story behind it: the people, the buildings, the statues, even the street corners.”
Here are the links to purchase:
I asked Mark about the inspiration behind his book, and this is what he told me: “What I love about the city is that everything in Rome has a story behind it: the people, the buildings, the statues, even the street corners. So I started to gather these stories, interviewing street performers, Romans, expats, historians and archaeologists.”
“Researching and writing this book transported me into another world and revealed the city through its stories that are informative, funny and insightful. I hope it will do the same for the reader!”
How can you argue with that? Congratulations to Mark for his book launch, and I hope readers will enjoy this journey through the Eternal City.