Captivating from the first page, Stephen Gundle’s Rome is a far more sinister place than the romanticised 1950s image of a golden age of style we tend to believe. A murdered girl washed up on a beach begins the unravelling of a dark and macabre tale that was to captivate the media and resonate deeply with the public. Glamorised by the Hollywood stars of the time, Rome in 1953 had all the sophistication and seduction of the Italian Riviera, but Gundle’s fast-paced romp through history dispels the myths of its ‘old-world’ ritziness and exposes it as a hotbed of sex, cover-ups and corruption. A tragic case, long-forgotten, has been skilfully resurrected in this brilliant exposé of murder and scandal.
Death and the Dolce Vita: The Dark Side of Rome in the 1950s
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Review by Sinead Fitzgibbon