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

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9780688177560: In the Footsteps of Popes: A Spirited Guide to the Treasures of the Vatican

In a tiny enclave in the heart of Rome lies the administrative and spiritual capital of Roman Catholicism, and the world's smallest independent state. Within its walls, during the course of the past fifteen hundred years, successive popes have commissioned and assembled an extraordinary collection of artistic works.

Now Professor Enrico Bruschini, the eminent Vatican City expert and former fine art curator of the American embassy, takes readers inside the magnificent galleries and museums of the Vatican with a personal tour through its sacred halls. Drawing on his vast knowledge, Bruschini vividly brings to life works by Raphael, da Vinci, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, and many other artisans while sharing interesting curiosities about the artists, their art, and the historical context in which they worked. These intimate descriptions allow Bruschini to illuminate both the artistic importance of the featured works and their cultural significance as he explains the profound impact they have made on Western civilization for nearly two millennia. In addition, Bruschini's unprecedented access to areas rarely open to the public allows him to offer a unique, behind-the-scenes tour of the Vatican revealing its most intimate secrets and treasures.

With rare photographs from the Vatican archives and helpfuI maps to aid future pilgrims in planning the perfect itinerary, In the Footsteps of Popes is an enticing book for Italian enthusiasts as well as armchair travelers to savor -- Bruschini offers an absolutely extraordinary Vatican tour that is not to be missed!

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Review:

Most travel guides are long on information and short on wisdom; readers going to Rome will find plenty of both in Enrico Bruschini's In the Footsteps of Popes. Bruschini, a noted expert on the Vatican, writes with the enthusiasm of Rick Steves and the calm assurance of a Fodor's guide, with a depth of knowledge about religious and art history that exceeds them both. His book is literally a step-by-step guide through the Vatican's museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica, with photographs and histories of every major point of interest, from the Pieta to Raphael's Transfiguration. Bruschini candidly informs readers of his opinions about what's worth seeing and what can be skipped. And he breathes fresh life even into descriptions of the best-known sites, as when he reminds readers of the familiar story of Michelangelo's creation of the Sistine Chapel's frescoes: for four years he worked lying on his back, "the paint dripping in his eyes." Details like that make In the Footsteps of Popes a valuable addition to the growing body of guides for spiritual travelers. --Michael Joseph Gross

About 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.

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Enrico Bruschini
ISBN 10: 0688177565 ISBN 13: 9780688177560
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Bruschini, Enrico
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