My last main activity in Rome was to see the Pope close-up. This is easily done when you’re in Rome on Wednesdays as that’s when his audiences are held, if he is in the Vatican and has nothing else on his schedule.
To get tickets, You need to queue at the Bronze Door at 3pm the day before the audience. Many had reservations by fax, at this day and age, in the queue actually, but I just requested for a ticket from the Swiss guard, and off I went.
All tickets to Papal events are issued free by the Vatican.
A police guy might come around to check for reservations, but just say you don’t have one, it’s not a problem at all, unless tickets are all given out a couple of hours later.
The next day, which is the actual day, I showed up about an hour before the audience, and got a reasonably placed seat in the square.
The crowds can be daunting, so do arrive early for security screening and to get a good spot.
I was pretty lucky to have the Pope pass by in his popemobile pretty close to me.
Another shot, with the standing crowd in the background.
After the driving around is done, the Pope proceeds to greet everyone before starting on a short reading and homily.
VIPs can be seen to the left all the way in front.
After the audience is concluded, the Pope has individual audiences with the VIPs and selected groups which are seated up front.
Thus concluding my visit to Rome. Next city, Venice.