ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR GUIDE BOOKS FOR THE RENAISSANCE TRAVELLER


Le antichita della citta di Roma. (…) In questa seconda editione da infiniti errori emendate & corrette da Thomaso Porcacchi.

Venezia, Giovanni Varisco, 1569.

£3,950

FIRST CORRECTED EDITION thus. 8vo. ff. (viii) 202. Italic letter, printer’s device on title, another larger on recto of last, woodcut initials and ornaments, thirty eight full page woodcuts in text comprising architectural views of the principal Roman monuments, some printed inscriptions, armorial bookplate of Georgius Bergonci on verso of title, small hole in blank margin of title restored. A good, clean copy in C17 vellum over boards, red morocco label gilt on spine, all edges speckled red.

Second edition, first with the invaluable revisions and corrections of Thomaso Porcacchi, of one of the most popular Roman guide books of the C16th, dedicated by Gamucci to Francesco de Medici. Though less rare, the second edition is more useful and desirable than the first. The editor Thomaso Porcacchi is better known as author of the famous work on islands ‘L’isole piv famose del mondo’ published in 1572. 

This was the guidebook par excellence for the Renaissance Roman tourist. Conveniently divided into four parts dealing with different areas of the city, it is abundantly and accurately illustrated so that one could easily recognise the sites and buildings. Of a size and weight which comfortably fitted hand and pocket, it was a well deserved best seller. The work is unusual, and very modern, in its division of the city into parts. The first Chapter “del luogo su edificata Roma, et del vario acrescimento d’essa incominciando da Romulo” deals with the earliest sites and monuments of Rome. The following three divide Rome geographically, the last including an interesting section on the Vatican, and the ‘San Bartolomeo Island’.

The illustrations, though not of great artistic merit, are clear and graphic, and therefore must have been particularly useful to the visitor. The great interest to posterity comes from an unusually accurate view of Roman remains in the mid-sixteenth century. Gamucci (fl. c.1560) was an Italian antiquary rather than author and this was his only published work.

BM STC It. p. 290. Adams G 204. Schudt, Le Guida di Roma, 712. Not in Mortimer Fowler or Berlin Cat.

L928

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