Rome

Mystery novel lets young adults explore corner of Rome during lockdown – Crux: Covering all things Catholic

As Italy ends its lockdown and slowly reopens its society, the people living in the country will have a unique opportunity to have its artistic treasures to themselves.

Museums are opening again, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are no tourists crowding out the natives.

For those not living in Italy, the only way to explore the country’s heritage is through books and TV: Not only through travel guides and documentaries, but also through fiction.

Travel writer and Seattle native Tiffany Parks has lived in Rome for nearly two decades, and has written a young adult mystery novel about one of the hidden masterpieces in Rome, the Fontana delle Tartarughe [Turtle fountain] in the city’s Jewish Ghetto.

(Credit: HarperCollins.)

“Rome is a never-ending trove of art, history, and curiosities. Everywhere you look (almost literally), there’s something fascinating to explore or investigate. And it’s also full of legends that go back hundreds, even thousands of years,” Parks told Crux.

Married to a guard at the Vatican Museums, and the mother of a young son, Parks noticed that there was no young adult fiction describing the experience of an expat in Rome.

That’s when she got the spark for Midnight in the Piazza, the story of Beatrice, a young girl who moves to Rome with her father and becomes involved in a mystery involving the turtles on the fountain.

“When I started writing, this was literally all I had, this and the fact that I knew
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