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Rome: seeing the Pope in St. Peter's Square, the St. Peter's Necropolis tour, the Vatican Garden tour

Rome: seeing the Pope in St. Peter's Square, the St. Peter's Necropolis tour, the Vatican Garden tour

Old Sep 23rd, 2000, 04:41 PM
  #1  
Kathy
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Rome: seeing the Pope in St. Peter's Square, the St. Peter's Necropolis tour, the Vatican Garden tour

Help! I've checked the Vatican's web site and is lists that the Pope will perform Holy Mass at 10:00 am in St Peter's square (Nov 19). Does anyone know if you need tickets for this, or do you just show up? What time should I get there? The books say that St. Peter's dome is closed when the Pope is there. Does anyone know how long before/after the ceremony?

Also - anyone done the tour of the necropolis or gardens? Was it easy to get tickets by fax? Was it worth it if I have just a short time in Rome (2 days?)

Thanks much!!!
 
Old Sep 24th, 2000, 02:31 PM
  #2  
Cathy
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Kathy,
St Peters is closed during the Papal Audience which normally takes place on Wednesdays but as the 19th is not a Wednesday I still think that the same procedure will apply. You do need tickets for the Papal Audience and they are easy to get. In 1999 you got them from an office on the right hand side of the Square - just ask the Swiss Guards and they will direct you to the right place - do enquire the minute you arrive in Rome - while the seats are not reserved there is a lot of interest in the tickets. As you have only two days in Rome it might be better to ask your parish priest (if you are Catholic) to arrange the tickets or alternatively ask the hotel prior to your arrival. The Dome and St Peters are closed for the duration of the Audience. But they do open shortly afterwards. Several people I know who were not interested in attending a Papal Audience headed for the Vatican Museums as the line tends to be shorter as most people are at the audience.

Last year I went on a tour of the necropolis and I found it very interesting - the guides are people who are working on the evacations. I prebooked by fax - giving them details of how many people and a choice of 2 days out of the 5 that I was in Rome, & the contact number for my hotel in Rome and of course the preferred language for the tour - very hassle free. They then rang my hotel with the time and day. It was about 16,000 lira per person and worth it.

Finally I would suggest that you check out the past hosted forums as there is one on Rome from Nov/Dec last year. Try the
following web sites for additional information www.romeguide.it,
www.scalareale.org, www.twenji.com, www.enjoyrome.com for
information on the churches and religious services try www.paulist.org.

Hope this helps

Cathy
 
Old Sep 25th, 2000, 05:03 AM
  #3  
Bets
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Hi Kathy,

I took the Vatican Gardens tour in 1998. It was very interesting but different from what I expected. I thought it was going to be heavy on the horticulture--identifying plants, discussing the reason for their inclusion in various settings, describing the landscape design, etc.--but the tour was more site oriented: this is the radio station, here is the Pope's helipad, this is the grotto built by X, this coffeehouse was designed for Pope Y, that sort of thing. Still very good, very worthwhile, just different from what I expected. It's a great behind-the-scenes look at a fascinating place, and it's nice to be whisked past those imposing gates....

Obtaining tickets was no trouble; we went to the ticket office the day before we took the tour.

One memorable aspect of the tour was our guide, an intelligent and vivacious woman who met the Vatican dress code in letter but not spirit: her gauze dress had short sleeves and a modest hemline but was so sheer I could tell she wore flowered panties.
 
Old Sep 25th, 2000, 05:27 AM
  #4  
meg
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What is the address for the Vatican's web site? www.vatican.com?
 
Old Sep 25th, 2000, 06:09 AM
  #5  
Bets
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www.vatican.va
 
Old Sep 27th, 2000, 02:34 PM
  #6  
Kathy
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Thanks everyone for the information! Anyone else done either of these vatican tours? I just sent an e-mail requesting tickets for the mass at St. Peter's.
 
Old Sep 27th, 2000, 04:08 PM
  #7  
Beth
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Is it true that there is a minimum age for the Necropolis tour (16 years)
 
Old Sep 28th, 2000, 01:56 PM
  #8  
Kathy
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The minimum age is 15 - I just got a e-mail back from the excavations office (only took 3 days!). The cost is $8 per person.
 

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