Italy TravelWhat the Pope’s Resignation Means for Travel to Rome

What the Pope’s Resignation Means for Travel to Rome
Published on Monday, February 11, 2013 by

Pope Benedict XVI gives blessing during his Wednesday general audience in Paul VI's Hall at the VaticanPope Benedict XVI shocked the world today with the announcement that he will resign the Papacy effective February 28th. If you have a trip to Rome planned for March or Easter (which is March 31 this year) or you are thinking about visiting Rome in the next two months, there are a few things to know now that all eyes will be at the Vatican during that time:

  • Technically the conclave (the meeting of cardinals) to select the next Pope should start no earlier than March 15th and no later than March 20th. Though we’re hearing that the Conclave could happen even sooner and the 15-20 day time frame (after death or resignation) isn’t truly set in stone.
  • Cardinals, the news media, pilgrims will all be traveling to Rome in coming month and Easter at the Vatican may be more popular than ever. Book your Rome hotel now so you can be assured of accommodations. What an exciting time to be in the Eternal City.
  • Pope Benedict is expected to stick to his current schedule for the coming days and thousands could swarm the Vatican to get a final look at the pope.  According to a Vatican insider, ” (he’s) expected to hold an audience this Wednesday and next (February 13 and 20th), as well as the Angelus Praying and Papal Blessing the next two Sundays (February 17 and 24th).”
  • During the last conclave (to select the successor to Pope John Paul II), St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums remained open, though the Sistine Chapel was closed. So if you want to tour the Vatican, you will likely be okay.
  • Easter Week at the Vatican (Easter is March 31) could be even more popular than ever as pilgrims flock to see the new pope in person.  Book your arrangements for Easter in Rome now.  

Ready to travel to Italy? Perillo Tours has been leading group trips throughout Italy since 1945 and can custom design an independent itinerary for your dream Italy vacation!

Taking your first trip to Italy soon? Learn everything you need to know when you get your FREE copy of The First Timer’s Guide to Italy by contributor Kathy McCabe

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