When in Rome

When in Rome
By admin


With a mere 800 permanent residents, including one rather prominent theologian, and covering just 44 hectares, Vatican City is the world's smallest independent state in terms of size and population. Within this walled enclave, the site of St Peter's Square & Basilica, and surrounded by the chaotic city of Rome, the Pope holds sway over the global affairs of the Catholic Church.

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The current pontiff, Benedict XVI, is the 265th incarnation, dating back to St Peter in the first century AD. After nearly eight years as Pope, Benedict, previously a German cardinal by the name of Joseph Ratzinger, shocked the world
by announcing his plan to step down in late February – the first to do so in nearly 600 years.

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March will see a papal conclave of 117 cardinals from around the world   assemble to elect the next Pope.
After a period of perhaps a few weeks a new leader will be chosen to wear the hallowed red shoes & ceremonial robes. Each unsuccessful ballot is heralded by black smoke emanating from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel.

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When white smoke is released, the world's 1.2 billion Catholics will know a new leader has been chosen.
When in Rome, My Vatican Tour offers a Vatican in One Day Tour from 95.50 euros ($124)

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Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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