In this fascinating new book, Mary Jane Cryan (an American who has lived in Italy for over fifty years) explores the history of one ancient Italian building, or “palazzo,” in which she lives. She tells the stories of people who are now famous, along with those almost forgotten. Cryan creates an in-depth look at not only a single building but also of the town, Vetralla, and its colorful past. This book is illustrated with various photographs that contribute to this historical tale of events, people, and works of art.
The author has clearly not just researched the town, she has lived in it—descriptions are written in vivid detail, and there is a sense of familiarity with the subject matter that makes the narration much more engaging than that of many other histories. And the fact that it’s written in both English and Italian is a particularly cool! Overall, I would recommend The Painted Palazzo Dipinto for readers interested in Italy, history, or art/architecture, from middle grade to adult!