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Review from the New York Times, quoted in its entirety

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The Eternal City, 1748 Edition

In 1748, the Italian surveyor and architect Giambattista Nolli presented his extraordinarily detailed map of Rome to Pope Benedict XIV.

Completed at a time when the city was emerging from a long, vigorous building period, the map has 12 plates, each 22 by 32 inches, and is not only a definitive record of the city, but a benchmark in the history of cartography. Students of Rome and city planning have long prized the accurate, complex and beautiful engravings, of which only 1,874 copies were originally printed. They are now available in a portfolio of facsimiles in ROME 1748: The Pianta Grande di Roma of Giambattista Nolli.

If we know a city largely through its buildings, this is a map that makes Rome graspable. Public buildings, such as churches, are represented in floor plan; ancient Roman buildings are shown in black against the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque buildings, in gray; the footprints of all buildings are indicated on their individual blocks. The engravings show the open spaces, such as courtyards, in the densely built city and are detailed enough to be highly evocative for anyone who knows the city. The map provides a graphic understanding of Rome's fabric of buildings rather than just a representation of its street organization. Printed in line offset on acid-free archival paper, "Rome 1748" has subtle line values and a good range of tones. The publishers have performed a considerable service in making available a rare and important cartographic document.

Joseph Giovannini
The New York Times Book Review
May 5, 1985

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