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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - "At Home in a Roman Street" (1985) Summary & Analysis

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This delightful painterly-like sketch of the Rome where Vidal rented a small penthouse on top of the Origo Palace takes the reader on a sensory and cultural trip through Old Rome. The palace itself is on a busy intersection where, below street level, three classical temples are home to "a colony of cats," serving as a reminder that the location was once sacred to the cat goddess Isis. His penthouse itself is "a small, square, rickety, 20th Century addition to the palace."

Vidal describes how the sun drops behind Saint Peter's, swifts appear and do their aerial acrobatics, snow falls on the lemon tree, villagers are obsessed with healthcare but not sex, and the outdoor produce markets are right where they have been for 2,000 years. There's the...

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This section contains 230 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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