One of the attractions of being in Rome is getting to see the Pope. Whether one is a person of faith or not it can be a truly rewarding experience to see the person who heads a major worldwide religion interacting with pilgrims and visitors. Every public event at which the Pope presides has a supply of free tickets available for participation. Never pay for one of these tickets, some travel agencies may tack on a fee in your itinerary for this ticket, but be aware that this is outright theft. Some may justify it by including transport or saying the pick up is what is the cost with fees ranging upwards of 50 Euros. This is an excuse as a cab from almost anywhere in the city to St. Peter’s will cost around 10 Euros.
Events one can get tickets for include the regular Wednesday audience, which runs from 10:30 till noon. Certain special ceremonies and masses like Christmas and Easter and one needs no ticket to attend the short greeting on Sundays at noon in St. Peter’s Square. The tickets should be requested at least 10 days in advance of the event the visitor will attend.
Write to the Vatican directly:
Tickets are available from a Vatican office and can be picked up at Visitors also can write directly to the Vatican for tickets. Letters should be addressed to: Prefect of the Pontifical Household, Vatican City 00120, Europe. The requests also may be faxed to the archbishop’s office: (39-06) 6988-5863.
Once in Rome tickets can be picked up the afternoon before the audience between 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. or on the morning of the audience from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Bronze Doors under the right hand side of the colonnade in St. Peter’s Square. It is just behind where one passes through security to enter the Basilica.
For American Pilgrims
American pilgrims coming to visit Rome there is a special office located near the Trevi fountain in the heart of the city. Ticket requests are received in advance of one’s trip and they can be picked up until the day before the audience. Just e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for your reservation request. Once in the city head to Via dell’Umilta 30. Right near the Trevi Fountain. Tickets for the Wednesday audiences are distributed at the office Tuesday afternoons from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.