JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
I was very happy to find a full-text and nicely-navigable copy of this classic work online. Giorlamo Francini's Le
Cose maravigliose dell'alma citta di Roma, anfiteatro del mondo : con le chiese, et antichita rapresentate in disegno / da Girolamo Francino ; con l'aggiunta del dottor Prospero Parisio (In Roma : Ad instanza di Gio. Antonio Franzini, & herede di Girolamo Franzini) was printed in 1600 and is considered an iconic work on travel writing, as well as one of the first sophisticated/modern "guide books" to the city of Rome. It was pocket-sized, and contained all manner of information about buildings and artists--useful info, if you had never been to the city before. It was also a distinct difference from books intended to the pilgrim; this book was definitely looking for a popular, general readership, looking to benefit in their stay in Rome by having a literary, artistic, and architectural key to the city.
The illustrations are charming and lovely--even though small (less than two inches square), they provide just enough detail for you to unmistakeably identify the principle structures. The full text (with illustrations) is located here.