In the Footsteps of Popes: A Spirited Guide to the Treasures of the Vatican

Overview

A unique look at the treasures of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Basilica of Saint Peter from an official guide of the Eternal City.

In a tiny enclave in the heart of Rome lies the world's smallest independent state—the Vatican. Over the course of fifteen hundred years, successive popes have commissioned and assembled an extraordinary collection of artistic works within Vatican walls.

Eminent expert Professor Enrico Bruschini ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$11.80
BN.com price
(Save 21%)$14.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (23) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $8.07   
  • Used (16) from $1.99   
In the Footsteps of Popes

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.99
BN.com price

Overview

A unique look at the treasures of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Basilica of Saint Peter from an official guide of the Eternal City.

In a tiny enclave in the heart of Rome lies the world's smallest independent state—the Vatican. Over the course of fifteen hundred years, successive popes have commissioned and assembled an extraordinary collection of artistic works within Vatican walls.

Eminent expert Professor Enrico Bruschini takes readers on a fascinating personal tour through the Vatican's magnificent sacred halls, vividly bringing to life works by Raphael, da Vinci, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, and many others, while sharing interesting curiosities about the artists, their art, and the historical context in which they worked. Bruschini's unprecedented access to areas rarely open to the public enables him to offer a unique behind-the-scenes tour that reveals the Vatican's most intimate secrets and hidden treasures. With maps and rare photographs from the Vatican archives, In the Footsteps of Popes is an extraordinary excursion that is not to be missed.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bruschini, an art historian and former curator of fine art at the American Embassy in Rome, is one of Rome's best and most experienced tour guides. He has spent a good portion of his professional life offering legendary guided tours of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Basilica of Saint Peter. This book puts into print the very best of his tour information on the treasures of the Vatican. Bruschini interweaves his knowledge of history and of art with fascinating tales of emperors and popes, artists and politicians. He also advises readers on what to see, what to skip, and where to most profitably examine artistic treasures. This is the only vade mecum one would need for a satisfying day or two at the Vatican. Recommended for all libraries. David I. Fulton, Coll. of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060556310
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/20/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 950,920
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Named art historian of the American embassy in Rome and official Guide of Rome, Enrico Bruschini is an Italian historian, art expert, professor, author, and passionate storyteller. Until his retirement from the embassy in 1998, he served as its fine art curator. He is the author, most recently, of The Vatican: Masterpieces, the official guidebook of the Vatican. He lives in Rome.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Genesis of the Vatican



The story of the Vatican started in Rome about two thousand years ago, during the cruel reign of the Emperor Nero.

In the year A.D. 64 a terrible fire devastated the city. The Romans were quick to accuse their emperor of having deliberately set the fire in order to acquire more land to build his new, immense palace, the Domus Aurea (Golden House). Today we know that this accusation was almost certainly untrue.

Rome was already renowned for its splendid edifices in marble thanks in great part to Emperor Augustus, although the poorest part of the city, the suburra (slums), was comprised mainly of wooden abodes. It was therefore common for a spark, especially during the preparation of meals, to set afire any nearby furnishings, often engulfing entire structures. The narrowness of the roads, as well as the closeness of the houses to one another, most likely contributed to the rapid spread of "Nero's Fire."

Nero, however, could not afford the harsh criticism of the populace, because his extravagances had already greatly irritated the Romans. Another mistake would have made his survival even more precarious. As a result, the emperor was quick to find a scapegoat for the fire: the Christians! With this accusation, he initiated one of the most absurd and cruel persecutions in history.

During the same period the Apostles Peter and Paul were both in Rome.

Saul, or Paul as he was subsequently called after the Latin word paulus or "small," was born atTarsus in Anatolia, today's Turkey, between 15 B.C. and 5 B.C. His father, who had acquired Roman citizenship, was able to pass it on to his son.

Paul, at the beginning, did not share the beliefs of the early Christians. He was a witness in Jerusalem at the stoning of Saint Stephen (called the "protomartyr" because he was the first martyr in the name of Jesus).

As written in the Acts of the Apostles (9:3- 19), Paul was on his way to Damascus to participate in the persecution of the local Christian community when a supernatural force flung him from his horse and Jesus appeared, addressing him with the famous words: "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" Struck by divine grace, Paul embraced the Christian faith and dedicated himself to the conversion of pagans, traveling to Cyprus, Asia Minor, and Greece.

On his return to Jerusalem he was arrested and brought to Caesarea, in Palestine, to face Felix, the Roman prosecutor. He was imprisoned for two years, until he appealed to the Roman emperor with the famous phrase: "Civis Romanus sum" (I am a Roman citizen) and thus was released.

In the year A.D. 60 he arrived in Rome, where he was kept under the surveillance of Roman authorities. According to tradition, Paul made a trip to Spain as well as a trip to the Orient, and in the year A.D. 66 was again arrested and, most likely in the year A.D. 67, was condemned to death.

As a Roman citizen, however, he did not undergo the disgraceful penalty of crucifixion and was, instead, sentenced to be decapitated. His body was placed in a sepulcher on the Via Ostiense, south of Rome.

In the fourth century A.D., the emperor Constantine built a basilica over his tomb. Part of this magnificent church still exists today, and is called Saint Paul Outside the Walls.

Simon, as we know, was born in Galilee. The symbolic nickname of Kephas ("rock" in Hebrew), or petrus in Latin, was given to him directly by Jesus with the noted words: "You are 'Peter' and on this Rock I will build my Church." He lived in Capernaum and was a fisherman, as was his brother Andrew. Christ chose both of them as apostles. After Jesus' death, Peter was arrested and according to tradition, an angel sent by God set him free. Peter left Jerusalem and journeyed to Antioch. He then went to Rome, where he stayed for about twenty-five years and became the first pope of the Christians.

When the first accusations were made by Nero against the Roman Christians, the community prevailed on Peter to leave the city to save himself. According to tradition we know that just outside the city Peter encountered Christ. In astonishment, he asked, "Quo Vadis, Domine?" — "Where are you going, O Lord?" and Jesus replied, "I am going to Rome to be crucified again." At this point, the old apostle understood that his duty was to give evidence of his faith by returning to Rome, and thus not escape his destiny.

On the Via Appia Antica it is still possible to visit the small church of the "Quo Vadis" which recalls the place of the encounter.

Nero's anger immediately fell upon the leader of the Christians. Peter, not being a Roman citizen, was condemned to be crucified.

The capital punishment of the leader of the Christians was to be a public spectacle. The Christians were considered by the Romans to be strange and dangerous, as they insisted on worshipping only one God, and in the name of that God were even ready and willing to die.

It was probably in the year A.D. 67 that Nero ordered Peter's death to be carried out in the imposing Circus that he had just completed beyond the Tiber River in the Ager Vaticanus (Vatican Plain). This name most likely came from the Latin word vaticinium (prophecy), because it had been, for a time, the place used by the Etruscans, the populace which preceded the Romans, to gather vaticinations, or prophecies.

On being notified of his impending execution, the old apostle said: "I am not worthy of dying like Our Lord," and at his own request was crucified upside-down.

The Roman officer who accompanied Peter to martyrdom on that day could never have imagined that he would be helping to make history by laying the foundation stone for a...

In the Footsteps of Popes. Copyright © by Enrico Bruschini. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)