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Mario Dell'Olio speaks with Ardain Isma about his new novel, Forbidden Rome.

Learn more about Mario's LGBTQ+ romance novel, a story of three young men who travel to Rome excited to begin their studies before they fell in love with each other.

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Three passionate young men travel to Rome eager to begin an exciting new chapter of their lives. International studies amid ancient ruins and romantic fountains expose them to an extraordinary new world.


Wonderment, homesickness, and adventure transform into the need for human touch and comfort. Anthony falls in love with Kevin leading to a passionate affair that can only endure in secret.

Fearing the consequences of being discovered, they cling to each other and their newfound love. Can their clandestine love affair survive the foolishness of youth?


Will their newly discovered passions win out over their ambitions? Journey with them as their forbidden love is tested by passion, prejudice, and ambition.


Praise for Mario Dell'Olio

"A complex journey of immersive self-discovery between faith and identity. A great read, talented author." - Rory Michaelson, author


"This book is many wonderful things. I highly recommend this for those who want an authentic account of growing into self." - Anya Pavelle, author


"Good storytelling, a wide range of characters and a heartbreaking tale. I felt intense anger at the Roman Catholic church one minute, and pure joy at a love story the next." - Conor J. Bredin, author


"This was a fascinating journey. Take the journey with these three men and see what you think for yourself. Your conclusions may surprise you as they did me." - Starred Review, 5/5


"A deeply original and honest book that took me into a world I could never know. What a terrific book." - Chase Hackett, author


"I wasn't disappointed. I loved the characters; I enjoyed following their many adventures together." - S.S. Long, author


"A multi-layered treat. This book was a fascinating romance-against-the-odds and I'd recommend it to anyone who is LGBTQ+ friendly." - Matt Adcock, author


"The struggle between faith and sexuality is on full display in this dramatic story. I fell in love with the characters and rooted for them as they learn to love and be loved." - Starred Review, 5/5

Books by Mario Dell'Olio

Forbidden Rome

Forbidden Rome

New Men (1st Ed.)

New Men (1st Ed.)

Cappuccino: A Romantic Short Story

Cappuccino: A Romantic Short Story