Giuseppe Vasi published between 1747 and 1761 ten books of etchings on the monuments of Rome (Sulle Magnificenze di Roma Antica e Moderna). The plates were grouped by subject: churches, gates, bridges, palaces, villas, etc.. The books became a bestseller among the foreigners visiting Rome. Vasi then wrote a guide (Itinerario istruttivo per ritrovare con facilita tutte le magnificenze di Roma e di alcune citta', e castelli suburbani) for visiting Rome in eight days and driven by the success of this guide he published in 1765 the Grand View of Rome, which was accompanied by a Grand View of Campo Vaccino. In 1781 he completed his work with a Map of Rome.
The View shows 390 points of interest grouped in the eight itineraries
of the guide:
Day 1 From Ponte Molle (Milvio) to S. Croce in Gerusalemme
Day 2 From Porta Maggiore to Villa Borghese
Day 3 From Via del Babbuino to the S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura
Day 4 From Via di Ripetta to Palazzo Massimi
Day 5 From S. Andrea della Valle to Isola Tiberina
Day 6 Trastevere
Day 7 From Ponte Sisto to Ponte Trionfale
Day 8 The Vatican
plus A Short and Delicious Digression in the Environs of Rome: From Ponte Salario to Porto
I furnished myself with maps and plans of antient and modern Rome, together with the little manual, called, Itinerario istruttivo per ritrovare con facilita tutte le magnificenze di Roma e di alcune citta', e castelli suburbani. But I found still more satisfaction in perusing the books, intitled, Roma antica, e moderna, which contain a description of everything remarkable in and about the city, illustrated with a great number of copper-plates, and many curious historical annotations.
Tobias Smollett - Travels through France and Italy - 1766.
November 7, 1786. I have now been here seven days, and by degrees have formed in my mind a general idea of the city. We go diligently backwards and forwards. While I am thus making myself acquainted with the plan of old and new Rome, viewing the ruins and the buildings, visiting this and that villa, the grandest and most remarkable objects are slowly and leisurely contemplated. I do but keep my eyes open and see, and then go and come again, for it is only in Rome one can duly prepare oneself for Rome.
J. W. Goethe - Italian Journey - Translation by Charles Nisbet
Vasi, Mannazale (Andrea Manazzale - Rome et ses environs - 1802), and that tribe of vade-mecums, may serve you the first week as mere valets-de-place in print, but you will soon dismiss them as insufficient. Those people parcel out Rome into day's-works, and throw every thing together, ancient or modern, sacred or profane, that lies in the same round. This plan is convenient enough for them who desire only to shew or to see Rome; but whoever would study it must arrange the objects of his study in a different order, deduced either from their kind or their age.
Joseph Forsyth - Remarks on Antiquities, Arts, and Letters in Italy in 1802-1803
Vasi provided not only a detailed view of Baroque Rome, but also of Ancient Rome, Medieval Rome, Renaissance Rome and Mannerist Rome.
This site contains also pages on many other locations, always with an eye to how they were in the past. You may wish to see a list of travel accounts about Rome and other towns/countries which are quoted in this website.
Note: I developed this website using a HTML for Dummies manual and I cannot guarantee the pages properly work on all
existing hardware and software. I test the pages on Chrome with a screen of 1366x768. The website should not be regarded as an academic work.
It is meant for armchair travellers and
it does not provide guidance on practical matters
related to journeys to Rome.