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  • History broken down into easy bite-sized chunks

    An innovative approach to tell the history of a city by telling 22 different stories. This allows the author to bring to life the people and their motivations, and how these have shaped the city. It also provides fascinating background on the origin of words and practices that, because of Rome's influence, have become part of our everyday lives. There are two minor criticisms. The approach doesn't help with understanding the city itself, in terms of its layout and how this changed over the centuries. Also, during the Renaissance, the narrative does become a confused mass of battles, artists, and their shifting alliances that is hard to follow. A long read but, overall, a very rewarding one.

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