When in Rome: A Journal of Life in Vatican City

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9780385486477: When in Rome: A Journal of Life in Vatican City
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Lighthearted and altogether fascinating, When in Rome is a delightful backstairs tour of one of the world's most mysterious and eccentric cities. With his wife and three young sons, Robert Hutchinson moved to Rome shortly before his thirty-ninth birthday, intending to explore the Vatican in depth. He sought to capture "the personality of the place: the smells and the traffic, the rich delicacies of Roman food, the perils of the Italian language, the way Italian monsignori push their way to the front of the line, just like their lay countrymen." When in Rome is the extraordinary journal of his Roman sojourn.

With playful good humor, Hutchinson introduces the varied and colorful individuals who live and work in the Vatican. In the process, he explores the mysterious orders of medieval knights, some dating back to the First Crusade, which still play a vital role in the Vatican; explains how bumbling Vatican archaeologists found, and then lost, the bones of St. Peter; probes the sex lives of the popes, from the "pornocracy" of Sergius III to the incestuous orgies of Rodrigo Borgia; experiences high fashion in the Holy See, including a visit to the pope's personal tailor; encounters the weird relics of Catholicism, such as the mummified body of St. Pius X and a museum made entirely out of human bones; recounts the true story behind the True Cross, now kept in a run-down church near the Colosseum; and much, much more.

Humorous, irreverent, but ultimately respectful, When in Rome does for the Vatican what A Year in Provence did for the French countryside, in an unforgettable and unprecedented eyewitness account of one of the most fascinating places on Earth.

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Review:

Robert Hutchinson is on a mission: to explore the living center of the Roman Catholic Church. "Twenty years after my first visit to Rome I set out to rediscover the Vatican. I wondered how it would all seem, to a smart-aleck American writer and confused Catholic, to really poke around the place, talk to the people who actually run it." When in Rome is not a book of theology or politics, it's a compilation of the nitty-gritty, day-to-day inside stories of what really makes the Eternal City tick. "I wanted to know how much money a cardinal made, what those silly capelike outfits were called, where the Swiss Guards went drinking on their days off, and so on," explains Hutchinson.

This book is a collection of the best of his discoveries. Always with a sense of humor and a bottomless curiosity (sometimes irreverent, but never disrespectful), Hutchinson reveals how archaeologists found, then lost, the bones of St. Peter; he seeks erotic literature in the Vatican library to help him brush up on his Italian (when studying foreign languages he finds this genre increases his motivation to look up new words in the dictionary); he learns that "relics" in Rome range from right arms to foreskins; and devotes an entire chapter to the sex lives of the popes.

If Rome is on your itinerary, When in Rome is an excellent take-along read that will help make the Vatican City come to life. --Kathryn True

From the Publisher:

"When in Rome is in the best sense of the word a fun book. I haven't enjoyed this kind of diverting experience since our own palmy days in the city."
--Morris West, author of The Shoes of the Fisherman

"Robert J. Hutchinson's tour de force...manages the rare and difficult--and sometimes disconcerting--feat of being at once ribald and reverent, informative and outrageous and--not least--very, very funny."
--Robert Moynihan, Ph.D., editor, Inside the Vatican magazine

"I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but you have to have a good sense of humor."
--Fr. Joseph Girzone, author of Joshua

"A guide in the manner of Mark Twain--remember The Innocents Abroad?--[Hutchinson] is both funny and informative. [A] thoroughly good read."
--Peter de Rosa, author of Pope Patrick and Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy

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Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. When in Rome is a backstairs tour of one of the world s most mysterious and eccentric cities. Hutchinson introduces the varied and colorful individuals who live and work in the Vatican. In the process, he explores the mysterious orders of medieval knights, some dating back to the First Crusade, which still play a vital role in the Vatican; explains how bumbling Vatican archaeologists found, and then lost, the bones of St. Peter; probes the sex lives of the popes, from the pornocracy of Sergius III to the incestuous orgies of Rodrigo Borgia; experiences high fashion in the Holy See, including a visit to the pope s personal tailor; encounters the weird relics of Catholicism, such as the mummified body of St. Pius X and a museum made entirely out of human bones; recounts the true story behind the True Cross, now kept in a run-down church near the Colosseum; and much, much more. Seller Inventory # APC9780385486477

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Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.When in Rome is a backstairs tour of one of the world s most mysterious and eccentric cities. Hutchinson introduces the varied and colorful individuals who live and work in the Vatican. In the process, he explores the mysterious orders of medieval knights, some dating back to the First Crusade, which still play a vital role in the Vatican; explains how bumbling Vatican archaeologists found, and then lost, the bones of St. Peter; probes the sex lives of the popes, from the pornocracy of Sergius III to the incestuous orgies of Rodrigo Borgia; experiences high fashion in the Holy See, including a visit to the pope s personal tailor; encounters the weird relics of Catholicism, such as the mummified body of St. Pius X and a museum made entirely out of human bones; recounts the true story behind the True Cross, now kept in a run-down church near the Colosseum; and much, much more. Seller Inventory # APC9780385486477

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Book Description Main Street Books. Paperback. Condition: New. 289 pages. Dimensions: 8.1in. x 5.4in. x 0.6in.Lighthearted and altogether fascinating, When in Rome is a delightful backstairs tour of one of the worlds most mysterious and eccentric cities. With his wife and three young sons, Robert Hutchinson moved to Rome shortly before his thirty-ninth birthday, intending to explore the Vatican in depth. He sought to capture the personality of the place: the smells and the traffic, the rich delicacies of Roman food, the perils of the Italian language, the way Italian monsignori push their way to the front of the line, just like their lay countrymen. When in Rome is the extraordinary journal of his Roman sojourn. With playful good humor, Hutchinson introduces the varied and colorful individuals who live and work in the Vatican. In the process, he explores the mysterious orders of medieval knights, some dating back to the First Crusade, which still play a vital role in the Vatican; explains how bumbling Vatican archaeologists found, and then lost, the bones of St. Peter; probes the sex lives of the popes, from the pornocracy of Sergius III to the incestuous orgies of Rodrigo Borgia; experiences high fashion in the Holy See, including a visit to the popes personal tailor; encounters the weird relics of Catholicism, such as the mummified body of St. Pius X and a museum made entirely out of human bones; recounts the true story behind the True Cross, now kept in a run-down church near the Colosseum; and much, much more. Humorous, irreverent, but ultimately respectful, When in Rome does for the Vatican what A Year in Provence did for the French countryside, in an unforgettable and unprecedented eyewitness account of one of the most fascinating places on Earth. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780385486477

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