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Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) published in 1554 two enormously popular guides to the churches and antiquities of Rome. This paper will examine the significance of these two works to Palladio' s understanding of ancient architecture, and to the meaning of his own work as an architect. The origins of the Rome guidebook tradition will be outlined, and Palladio' s attempt to modernise the standard medieval guides in the light of the contemporary pilgrim's requirement for a more logical itinerary to the "eternal city." The paper will attempt to show that Palladio' s neglected guides are nothing less than central to our full appreciation of one of the most celebrated architects of all time.