Lectio magistralis

Italian Chamber of Deputies

I have been invited to give a lectio magistralis at the Italian Chamber of Deputies this autumn.  The subject will be parliamentary representation in the modern age.   As regular readers may recall, I spoke last autumn at conferences in Bern and at the National Assembly in Paris.  It will be good to visit Rome.  Timing will depend whether I have to fly or, as I intend, travel by train….

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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11 Responses to Lectio magistralis

  1. maudie33 says:

    How fortunate you are Lord Norton. This is one of the places I have yet to see and strangely, the one I most wanted to ever since. Train is a great way to go, although I would drive, because I load down.

    It will be a seriously wonderful trip for you. And for choice, I would stay in the Vatican. How I envy this little escapade.

    • Lord Norton says:

      maudie33: I travel light, so the train is ideal for me. I would not fancy driving. I cannot get on wiith work. Travelling by train enables me to work and to see fantastic scenery; neither driving or flying does both.

      I’m a Methodist. I don’t think the Pope and I would quite see eye-to-eye…

      • maudie33 says:

        Lord Norton:

        You don’t have to see eye to eye with the Pope to visit and stay in the Vatican. The place is a beautiful example of the most fabulous architecture. Quite moving it is so powerful. Michelangelo, Benini, Leonardo da Vinci. Breathtaking. Why would you want to pass it by because you don’t like RC.

        And the Pope is very hard to get hold of. I shouldn’t worry about bumping into him. LOL


      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton,

        I tend to agree with Maude that one can pass through Rome and all it Hills even as a titled and distinguished visitor without spending a great deal of time with Josef Ratzinger His Holiness the Bishop of Rome, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Magna Graecia, Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Rite and Head of the Colleges of Cardinals and Bishops. He may in fact have much of his schedule already laid out…

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton,

        I assume Maude is referring to the Hill or Hill District which by translating from Italianate custom one may stay in readily enough — the Alimandi for example. However, staying in the tiny City State itself without official Vatican business can be fairly tricky (unless one is connected to someone with a spare room) and so I would imagine that the Vatican ought to be among the seven ancient districts one would hope to glimpse. But I am myself and so quite interested in Museums and architecture and history of most backgrounds…

  2. Alex M says:

    Lord Norton,

    Given that you a tad partial to fantastic scenery, if it is permissible by time and finances, I would thoroughly recommend from personal experience taking the TGV from Paris to Zurich before getting to Rome via Milan, as the Gotthard Pass in Switzerland is quite breathtaking! Hopefully you wouldn’t be too captivated to forget to take your camera out!

    Also, I am curious with the Italian Chamber of Deputies, as I have been told by an Italian relative that it and the Senate have equal powers. Are there any advantages to such a system? Or perhaps a better question would be, is it suitable for the Italian Constitution? It just seems a case of unnecessary duplication to me!

    • Lord Norton says:

      Alex M: On your point about the Italian Parliament, it does indeed point to the problems of having two elected chambers. It is an excellent example of duplication and, in effect, redundancy. It is especially relevant in the context of the UK in that in Italy electors vote for members of the second chamber on the same basis as they do for the members of the first chamber; in other words, the same as the Government is or was proposing for the UK. If there are any advantages to the system, it is not clear what they are.

  3. maudie33 says:

    Mmm! Well, Frank, you can, in fact, stay inside the Vatican itself. And you don’t have to have an insider deal. Lookie here:


    That said, I don’t think our, LN, is keen on that idea.

    However, here is a really great compromise. Suitably comfortable and saves a lot of footwork as it is in the ‘Vatican City.’ Very convenient..


    • franksummers3ba says:


      It depends what you mean by “insider” or “Vatican business” your pilgrims have been vetted, complied with official standards and accepted official restrictions in many ways it seems to me. The pilgrimages are a big part of Vatican business.

      The second link is also not a contradiction as far as I can tell it is half a road’s breadth outside the political limits of the City State. Most of the guests and much of the business of the State itself happen outside those tiny limits. I am not really trying to dispute this though and happy to leave it be. “The Vatican” which was your term has had many meanings for the general area and specific areas and although today is much different than “the Palatine”, The Capitoline” and others I think we can both be as wrong or right as we choose to insist on being really. Now the Forbidden City in Beijing offers virtually no rooms or bunks at all despite millions of tourists, less competing activity and so forth. But I did stay in walking distance there…
      I never converted to any of its religions either.

      • maudie33 says:

        Jesus, Frank, you really do like to split hairs.

        It is indeed unlikely that you will get a facility adjoining the Holy Father’s rooms….On Lords ‘ expenses that is. However, the address for the lodging is, Via Paolo VI 29 ”Vatican City 00193” Roma, how much more do you want? Under the cassock perhaps? Which is not everyone’s cup of tea.


  4. macarthursmutterings says:

    I think you should go, you can call in on our mutual friend that will be living there and send me a progress report 😉

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