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How St Peter’s Basilica transformed Rome into “the city of the soul”.

St Peter’s Basilica was, initially, an act of desecration. In 1506, pope Julius II destroyed the original St Peter’s that had been built by the emperor Constantine, the most sacred shrine in Europe. He then laid the foundations for his new Basilica.

It took two tumultuous centuries to build and it would split the Christian church as its expense and scandal provoked Martin Luther to post his Ninety-five Theses.

Fully illustrated with the original plans of the Basilica and portraits of those who built it, R.A. Scotti’s wryly colourful prose describes the unbridled decadence, religious intrigues and artistic ambition that went into its construction. In Basilica, she introduces the popes (among them a swineherd, a bastard, a pair of Medici princes, two poets and a soldier), artists and architects who built Rome’s fountains, palaces and piazzas.

Entertaining and fascinating, Scotti describes the complexities and contradictions of the world’s greatest building. In R.A. Scotti’s capable hands, the story of St Peter’s becomes a riveting portrait of the papacy, complete with its triumphs, intrigue and excesses.

No matter how often you have visited Rome and St Peter’s, R.A. Scotti will give a new appreciation of its grandeur.

“R.A. Scotti gives us the splendour of architectural and artistic wonders… The story is expansive and complex, like the glorious Baroque building itself.”
Catholic Times

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