Elizabeth Lev

Elizabeth Lev lives in Rome where she is a professor of art history, author, and tour guide



TED Global calls Elizabeth's talk on the Sistine Chapel a “tour de force.”

Elizabeth Lev is an American-born art historian with the good fortune to live and work in Rome. After finishing her studies at the University of Chicago in 1989, she moved to Northern Italy to do her graduate work at the University of Bologna. Researching her thesis on the Church of San Giovanni and Petronio in Rome, she soon realized that like Queen Christina of Sweden before her, she couldn’t live another day if she didn’t live it in Rome, and became a denizen of the Eternal City in 1997.

She started giving tours in 1998 for a small cultural association and passed the licensing exam for guides in 2001. That same year she was hired to teach Art History at Duquesne University’s Italian campus, and has remained a member of the Rome faculty ever since. After a five-year stint teaching Renaissance Art at John Cabot University, she joined the teaching staff at the Pontifical University of the Angelicum in Rome, and more recently has begun teaching at Christendom College as well.

Writing opportunities soon followed the coursework, with numerous articles in Inside the Vatican, Sacerdos and First Things magazine, the College Art Association on-line as well as a regular column with Zenit News Agency. She was a contributor to AOL’s Politics Daily and her first biography, The Tigress of Forli: The Remarkable Story of Caterina Riario Sforza, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Press in 2011. She has since written two more books, one on the Roman station churches with George Weigel, and a book on the theology of the body with Father José Granados.

Her fifteen minutes of fame have included many television and radio interviews, from ABC’s Nightline to the Today Show. She was featured in the series 'MUSEUM SECRETS' for History television, Brad Meltzer’s “Decoded” and was the host of “Catholic Canvas”, a 10-part television series on the art of the Vatican Museums, which aired on EWTN.

Elizabeth Lev lives minutes from St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums with her husband and three children.


Explore Elizabeth's
new book:

A Body for Glory

Purchase A Body for Glory

Check out Elizabeth’s latest interview on Tuscan Traveler:

Tuscan Traveler