I had done some initial field work in 2000 as I worked towards completion of my doctoral dissertation. I remain a believer that understanding the geography of a person's life goes a long way to helping understand the contexts in which they lived. Pacelli lived the first four decades of his life more or less within the confines of the old city of Rome. He ventured forth for holidays to the family's ancestral hometown of Onano, about two hours drive to the north and after ordination he made several trips on Vatican business. However it was not until 1917, when he was 42 years old, that he left Rome for his longest time abroad.
Walking through the narrow and twisting streets of old Rome is always a pleasure and a delight. I was happy to find that my memory of where particular places were had not dimmed over the years! As a start to 2014 I would like to share some of these images. All would have been familiar to Eugenio as a boy and young man, as well as to the man who would become pope.
3 March 1876.
Filippo and Virginia Pacelli lived at 34 via Monte Giordano, known in the 19th century as via degli Orsini. The apartment block was known as Palazzo Pediconi and the family lived on the third floor between 1871 and 1880.