Preface to the Second Edition

This book is an account of over two decades of life in Rome, observing the city, learning about it everyday, and working humbly in hopes of making it an even better place. Some of the content will be familiar to readers of, but much is new and written from memory, which is known to play tricks. In the years since I first wrote this I have uncovered a few inaccuracies, which I am fixing here, and there may be others, but I sincerely hope I haven’t painted an erroneous picture of Rome — or of anyone of its players — in these pages.  If so, please drop me a line at and I will make amends.

-Tom Rankin

Author’s sketch of Porta Settimiana, Trastevere

“We are never free of our past, but we can never return to it except as strangers.”
– Robert Maxwell

“The greatest function of the city is to encourage the greatest possible number of meetings, encounters, challenges, between varied persons and groups, providing… a stage upon which the drama of social life may be enacted.”
-Lewis Mumford


Rome Works Copyright © 2015 by Thomas Greene Rankin. All Rights Reserved.

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