georgetslc (georgetslc) wrote in little_details,

Audience and lunch at the early 19th-c. Vatican for a minor Balkan noble

I am editing & doing research for a fantasy novel with a (more-or-less) historical setting.

First difficulty: The Baron has just been assigned a politico-military operative--ostensibly a humble priest--by His Holiness, to help him combat the Turkish invasion back home in his Balkan valley. They could presumably go to a nearby inn, but there's got to be one or more dining rooms and/or refectories, kitchens, etc., where the Pope's people regularly eat and/or where visiting dignitaries are entertained--or not? Is there food available all day or during certain hours, a formal meal at precisely noon, or what? Are there many choices, a few, or only one choice available? Surely if he's a papal guest, he won't be paying for anything?

I could handle this easily for Mr. Darcy with the Bennets over in England, and I wouldn't have any problem sending them to a Great Hall or equivalent during medieval times, but I'm lost in early 19th-century Rome among the aristocracy. And the author I'm researching for seems to know even less about the milieu than I do. (Unfortunately it's a little late to tell him "Write what you know"!)

To virtually no avail, I have websearched various combinations of
"19th century"
"modern history"
"early modern history"
"dining halls"
--where the last is the Italian for refectory. The most help I've found is
which mentions a refectory in a nearby monastery without naming it! (And I can't find relevant links on that site.)

Second difficulty: Does the Baron take his 4-man military retinue to the papal audience, and then to eat, or does he leave them to fend for themselves? He's told them that they will be his future inner circle, but they're even more countrified than the Baron, who has spent a year learning natural sciences at the University of Florence to supplement his magical studies (and falling in love and . . .).
Tags: 1800s (no decades given), italy: history, ~nobility (misc), ~religion: christianity: catholicism

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