<i>The Vatican: Its History—Its Treasures</i> by Ernesto Begni is an interesting look into the history, and lore of the Vatican, located just outside of Rome, Italy. An icon of the Catholic Church, the Vatican has been a symbol of both power and of mystery and provided thousands of years worth of controversy and conciliation. This book is an attempt to dispel some of those mysteries and offer the reader a rare glimpse into the majesty found within the walls of this hallowed institution.<br>Begni's book begins an abridged version of the history of the Vatican and a brief general description of the sprawling Vatican palaces visible from miles around, after which is a summary of the Vatican palaces and gardens describing in intricate detail their majesty and design. The book also covers the various state apartments and chapels such as the Chapel of Nicholas, the Sistine Chapel, the Pauline Chapel, the Appartamento, the Stanze of Raphael, and the Loggie of Raphael; including a litany of historical facts and artifacts housed in each. <br><br>The book also discusses the Vatican museums, collections, and the mosaic factory, including in-depth reviews of the New Picture Gallery, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Egyptian Museum, the Gregorian Etruscan Museum, the Museum of Sculpture and Ancient Paintings, the Gallery of Inscriptions, and the Christian Museum. Of course, treasures aren't only artistic or architectural, and Begni makes a point to explore the massive collections and library house at the Vatican, including the Numismatic collection, the Hall of the Geographical Charts, the Vatican Library and the Vatican Secret Archives. Finally, the book finishes with an in-depth discussion of the Vatican administration and influences of politics and religious shifts over the centuries.<br><br><i>The Vatican: Its History—Its Treasures</i> is a complete source for information on all things Vatican. This book holds a great amount of interesting information for those interested in Vatican secrets and mysteries, whether it's politics, history, art, literature, or architecture. With a veritable wellspring of information and plenty of gorgeous illustration, this text is a great choice for any reader interested in the Vatican and looking behind the veil of mystery.