Awhile back I read a "My kind of town" narative in Smithsonian magazine about Boise. It wasn't until I started reading this book I realized they had the same author.
Anthony Doerr -- along with his wife and twin sons, one of whom happens to be named Owen -- spent a year in Rome as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The book chronicles that year, fall through summer, which included the death of Pope John Paul II and the naming of Pope Benedict XVI.
It's well-written. The subtitle is On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World, and the parts on parenthood -- the twins are 6 months old as the year begins -- are touching and often funny. And the travel details are great.
It's a short book and not complicated reading, although there are a lot of references to the writings of Pliny the Elder. I recommend it.