Rome, Vatican City State and how to get an audience with the Pope
September 6, 2020
Ciao Roma! Although I still haven’t managed to let my feet dangle out of the window while driving, I left southern Italy behind and arrived in Rome. Rome… who does not know it. The impressive Italian capital with sights and stories at every corner. After all, there are many roads leading to Rome and I am glad that I finally made it. Even though I’m in a somewhat saturated sightseeing phase at the moment and urgently need a holiday from holiday, I have to agree with everyone, of course… Many incredibly great buildings in the city! In the end, I probably won’t have to get lost in the details very quickly, as most people have already seen Rome. The only thing I can recommend is to do a free walking tour. For those who don’t know a Free Walking Tour yet, I have listed the differences here, Free Walking Tour
I took part in a wonderful little Free Walking Tour for over three hours in a group of six people. The guide was called Amedeo and it was a really informative tour. Besides information about the sights and the history, there were insights into the life of the guide. For example it was told why you should never marry a Hungarian, why smaller women are the better choice and how it was to show Russell Crowe around Rome for a week. Crazy enough you not only learn about the sights, you also learn a lot about life ;). And last but not least I was able to win a new Travelbuddy and so there are some pictures of me, which are no Selfies! If you are ever in Rome and are interested in a really entertaining free walking tour guide, you can book Amedeo online here, Guruwalk Amadeo.
The rest of the day was an absolute marathon sightseeing day and here are some pictures from Rome.
The following morning I went to the Vatican City State. I had hoped that there would be less tourists because of Covid-19 and that you would have to queue less for the different attractions in the Vatican State. When I arrived at 10:15 and just passed the security checkpoint quickly, there were two signs. One arrow to the right “Audience with the Pope”, one arrow to the left “Petersdom”. Of course I chose the arrow to the right and honestly I was not so sure what to expect. In any case, I come to a smaller place and see the pope waving to me and singing “Tobi, I have been waiting for you”. Ok… I might have just invented the waving and singing. So back again… I come to the Damasus Court and see the Pope holding the General Audience (Wednesday Audience) to the people.
I must confess, I did not know that you can see the Pope so close and live. I was also surprised that so few people attended the ceremony. In this respect, one had a really good view of the Pope. I found the whole thing really super exciting, even if I honestly didn’t understand a word. As chance would have it, it was the first Pope audience in 6 months. I guess word hadn’t got around that the audiences would take place again. Otherwise it would probably have been more crowded. In the following I have briefly researched what you have to do when planning your visit to Rome and how you can reliably participate in the general audience:
As a rule, in order to attend the General Audience, tickets are required in advance. These can be purchased free of charge from the Prefecture of the Pontifical House or from the German Pilgrims’ Office. In case you are not German speaking maybe your country has a pilgrims Office as well. You should order your tickets at least two weeks in advance. Information about the audiences can be found here on the Vatican Website.
After this really lucky coincidence, I then strolled through the sights of the Vatican State, where I can definitely recommend the ascent to the dome of St. Peter’s. From there you really have a great view over Rome. And with that I say goodbye with the last pictures and you will hear from me again from Tuscany.