Cities in Text: Rome explores the complex and historic layers of the Eternal City through the study of guided tours from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries presented in both a website and mobile application.

Cities are not built in a day. They are the result of years of development and change. No other city in the world expresses this concept more clearly than Rome. Thousands of years of continuous urban development and regeneration have created a multi-faceted and sophisticated city that can present challenges for both contemporary researchers and explorers.

Rome has been a destination for travelers - whether on pilgrimage, grand tour, study, or holiday - for nearly two millennia. Those who documented their trips have left unique records describing the physical and urban conditions, providing specialized resources to contemporary scholars.

Cities in Text: Rome provides access to selected travel guides allowing one to trace the city’s urban and architectural development. These guides, housed in the Library of the American Academy in Rome, include Bernardo Gamucci’s Le Antichita della Citta di Roma, published in 1565, Giovanni Domenico Franzini’s Descrittione di Roma Antica e Moderna, published in 1643 and Giuseppe Vasi’s Itinerario Istrutivo Diviso in Otto Giornate, published in 1777. These specific texts were chosen for the quality of their scholarship, observations, illustrations, maps, and itineraries. Each text has been digitized, preliminarily translated, illustrated, and geo-located. From the website one can program the related mobile application to take historical documentation into the field. These curated walking tours allow scholars and students alike to access library resources while exploring the city.