As the Romans Do – Alan Epstein


Alan Epstein, author of How to Be Happier Day by Day, has reported on Italian life for America Online and is a regular European correspondent for American radio. He has appeared on Oprah and numerous other television shows. He lives with his wife and two sons in the heart of Rome.

The book in one sentence: As the book’s tagline so succinctly puts it: an American family’s Italian odyssey.

Who would you recommend it to: Someone interested in the Italian culture or travel books, though this is not a travel book as such as it offers a localised perspective of Rome.

Best bits: Chapters 9 [La Bella Figura: The Flesh and Flash of Roman Women], 15 [What Makes Romans So Sexy? Close Encounters of Every Kind], 23 [Retro Romans Still Do It All: Smoking, Drinking, Sex, Fur Coats, and Suntans] and 27 [Latin Lovers: Real Men Don’t Wear Sneakers].

Boring bits: The beginning and the end.

One randomly picked review quote:

”This charming, Peter Mayle-like insider’s view is … an unabashed lover letter celebrating the allure, frustrations, quirks and joys of life in the Eternal City … Bottom line: Book yourself a one-way ticket.” — People

Verdict: A book that makes for a wonderful read for a long train ride; as languorous as the nature of its subject matter.


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