I'd like to recommend the following books: Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day and Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day. They are cultural histories of ancient Athens (say, of Socrates's day) and ancient Rome (say, early Republic), framed as though they were modern travel guides. So far as I can tell from my previous knowledge, the facts in both are, for the most part, correct, and the writing is witty and marvelous. At $18.95 apiece (they're British imports), they're not cheap, but they are fun. As you can see from the links, Amazon has them, as does Barnes & Noble, and I found one of them at my favorite family-run bookstore, so they are available.