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The Path to Rome

Hilaire Belloc

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ent as he wandered on about 'leaving on your left the stone we call the Nuggin, and bearing round what some call Holy Dyke till you come to what they call Mary's Ferry'... and so forth. Long-shoremen and the riparian inhabitants of dreadful and lonely rivers near the sea have just such a habit, and I have in my mind's eye now a short stretch of tidal water in which there are but five shoals, yet they all have names, and are called 'The House, the Knowle, Goodman's Plot, Mall, and the Patch.'

But here in Rupt, to my extreme astonishment, there was no such universal and human instinct. For I said to the old man who poured me out my coffee under the trellis (it was full morning, the sun was well up, and the clouds were all dappled high above the tops of the mountains): 'Father, what do you call this hill?' And with that I pointed to a very remarkable hill and summit that lie sheer above the village.

'That,'. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I read the lion's share of this book while on vacation and the two experiences will forever be inextricable in my mind. The first 200 or so pages of this book are an absolute delight - worthy of a 5-star rating. Belloc peppers his thoughts while walking from north central France to Rome with thou...more

My favorite book in the world. Belloc's walking pilgrimage from France to Rome, over the Alps, singing all the way.

this book has been in continual print for over 100 years and I always keep it on my bedside table
love it so much

Some people might think that a book with this title would necessarily be about converting to Roman Catholicism. It's not. It's quite literally about the physical path to Rome, the hiking trail that Belloc trudged along from eastern France to the City of Rome in 1903.

Hilaire Belloc was a French-E...more

Published in 1902. Belloc, like Patrick Leigh Fermor and a few other daring souls, decided to walk across Europe and his journey to Rome over the Alps is amazing. His account of hiking up a misty mountain near Interlaken and, when the clouds parted, realized that the path had ended and he was on...more

This is a travel book; it is a history book; it is a humor book; it is an art book; it is a literary book; it is a theology book. It is a book about the land; it is a book about people; it is a book about God; it is a book about not taking yourself too seriously. I was extremely sad when this boo...more

First published in 1902 and continuously in print ever since, Hillaire Belloc’s The Path to Rome chronicles his journey from his birthplace near Toul in France to Rome, “the centre of the world.” An ardent Catholic, Belloc is decidedly on a pilgrimage. But, a canny writer as well—one of the most...more

Stylistically dated, more bombastic than Chesterton, but entertaining nonetheless.

I was introduced to Chesterton, Belloc and Ronald Knox by a freshman English teacher (why yes, he was Catholic). The only fiction in the bunch, as I recall, were some wonderful detective stories by Chesterton and Knox. In fact Msgr. Knox, the first Catholic chaplain at Oxford for four hundred yea...more

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