“EATING WITH POPE FRANCIS”: SUCCESS IN GERMANY OF THE BOOK NOW IN A TV PROGRAM (RTL-VOX GROUP)

In Germany, my book “Eating with Pope Francis / Food in the life of Jorge Mario Bergoglio” (published in Italy by Mondadori) is enjoying great success with the public and critics. Published by SudWest with the title “Kochen mit dem Papst” and with a different cover than the Italian edition, the volume was the focus of extensive coverage by the most important national newspapers. They have devoted ample space to the book, with very positive and flattering reviews, newspapers and magazines such as “Frankfurter Allgemeine”, “Spiegel”, “Die Tagespost”, “Stern”, “Gala”. It has gained a lot of space in online newspapers and blogs dedicated to religion and food issues. On Amazon Germany, the publication was rated with a maximum of 5 stars and generated very positive comments from many readers.

It is therefore not surprising that now the book – formerly the Selection Award for the 2018 Bancarella Cucina – is at the center of the attention of the I&U TV television group, RTL-VOX, based in Cologne, which has also decided to dedicate issues and contents of the publication great attention in a documentary shot in recent days in Rome. The program will be part of a series of seven episodes dedicated to the characteristics and peculiarities of the smallest states in the world, such as the Vatican City, San Marino, Monaco, Malta, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Andorra.

I was interviewed by Hans-Peter „Hape“ Wilhelm Kerkeling, a real celebrity in Germany, appreciated for his qualities as a comedian, presenter, actor, author , a character awarded with prestigious awards including Goldenen Kamera, Adolf-Grimme-Preis and the Deutschen Fernsehpreis.

In the conversation, I recounted unpublished episodes of which I narrated in the book, with particular reference to the reasons and motivations for which, since he was a boy, Pope Bergoglio developed a marked sensitivity to the aspects of food, in its religious, ethical meanings, social and cultural. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that, as documented in the book, the pontiff graduated in Buenos Aires with a degree in Food Chemistry and worked in an analysis laboratory on gastronomic products.

Hans-Peter „Hape“ Wilhelm Kerkeling‘s interview was filmed near the Vatican, at the Hostaria 4 Mori, with chef Fabio Granati, a place that often sees , among the diners, bishops and cardinals serving at the Vatican (it also hosted, when they were cardinals, Joseph Ratzinger and Jorge Mario Bergoglio). Another segment of the program was carried out at the Hedera pastry shop of Francesco Ceravolo, creator of cakes with which – as told in the book – some moments and events of Pope Francis’ pontificate were highlighted, including the Jubilee of Mercy and convivial meetings reserved for homeless people.

The program will be broadcasted on RTL-VOX – one of the most followed TV channel in Germany and Europe – starting next November, every Sunday, for a series of 7 episodes. In recent days in Rome, the filming of the documentary ended. The troupe was made up of about ten people who worked on various sets and locations with the aim of offering spectacular views of the Vatican City, the smallest state in the world, but second to none in history, art and culture.

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