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Book presentation!

The book will be presented by Letizia Norci Cagiano (Professor, Università degli Studi Roma Tre) and Arnold Witte (Deputy Director, Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome)

The presentation will be in English and Italian.

Date: Wednesday 11 September 2019
Time: 18,00
Location: Swedish Institute in Rome, via Omero 14, Roma
Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


To this day, no comprehensive academic study of the development of guidebooks to Rome over time has been performed. This book treats the history of guidebooks to Rome from the Middle Ages up to the early twentieth century. It is based on the results of the interdisciplinary research project Topos and Topography, financed by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond), hosted by the Swedish Institute and led by Anna Blennow and Stefano Fogelberg Rota. From the case studies performed within the project, it becomes evident that the guidebook as a phenomenon was formed in Rome during the later Middle Ages and early Renaissance. The elements and rhetorical strategies of guidebooks over time have shown to be surprisingly uniform, with three important points of development: a turn towards a more user-friendly structure from the seventeenth century and onward; the so-called ’Baedeker effect’ in the mid-nineteenth century; and the introduction of a personalized guiding voice in the first half of the twentieth century. Thus, the ‘guidebook tradition’ is an unusually consistent literary oeuvre, which also forms a warranty for the authority of every new guidebook. In this respect, the guidebook tradition is intimately associated with the city of Rome, with which it shares a constantly renovating yet eternally fixed nature.


Anna Blennow and Stefano Fogelberg Rota: Introduction

Anna Blennow: Wanderers and Wonders. The Medieval Guidebooks to Rome

Victor Plahte Tschudi: Two Sixteenth-Century Guidebooks and the Bibliotopography of Rome

Anna Bortolozzi: Architects, Antiquarians, and the Rise of the Image in Renaissance Guidebooks to Ancient Rome

Stefano Fogelberg Rota: Fioravante Martinelli’s Roma ricercata nel suo sito and his “lettore forastiero”

Sabrina Norlander Eliasson: “Authors of degenerated Renaissance known as Baroque”. The Baedeker Effect and the Arts: Shortcuts to Artistic Appreciation in Nineteenth-Century Rome

Frederick Whitling: Mental Maps and the Topography of the Mind. A Swedish Guide to the Roman Centuries

Carina Burman: Rom på 8 dagar (Rome in 8 Days). A Story of Change and Success

Arnold Witte, Eva van Kemenade, Niels Graaf and Joëlle Terburg: Codifying the Genre of Early Modern Guidebooks: Oskar Pollak, Ludwig Schudt and the Creation of Le Guide di Roma (1930)


For further information about the book and a digital version, see:

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