Monday, July 28, 2008

Joan Lewis gives us practical Vatican visit information

Joan Lewis's recent blog post at "Joan's Rome" is filled with practical information should you have the opportunity to visit the Eternal City. Even if a trip to Rome will not be in your near future it's still very interesting to read all about it. Take a look at what Joan has to say:


I will be leaving on vacation for a few weeks on July 17 and I thought it might be helpful to dedicate my column today to information on visiting the Vatican – St. Peter’s Basilica, the Museums, the world famous “scavi” and the gardens and Vatican City itself. Many of you are planning trips and will leave in coming days or weeks or months. The following practical information – which you should print and bring with you - is from the Vatican’s web site: I have added some practical notes in a few places - “A Note from Joan.”

Tomorrow I will take you on a tour of Vatican City and the gardens, adding that column to this one so that you have a summer’s worth of reading and planning while I am away!

PAPAL AUDIENCES: A ticket - always free of charge - is required for attending the General Audience on Wednesday mornings or other papal ceremonies. They are issued by the Prefecture of the Papal Household reached by way of the Bronze Door. The office is open Mondays from 9:00 to 13:00 and Tuesdays from 9:00 to 18:00. To request a ticket: Telephone +39.06.69883114 – +39.06.69884631; or fax +39.06.69885863.

A note from Joan: Remember, you can also ask for tickets through the North American College by going to the web site of the Visitors Office of the Pontifical North American College: or by visiting the church in Rome for Americans that, like NAC, on Tuesday afternoons distributes tickets to those who have quested them in advance. I recommend both of these avenues because of the extraordinarily personal treatment you will receive as you meet fellow Americans, “ex-pat” Americans who live in Rome.

ST. PETER’S BASILICA: The Basilica is open every day from 7.00 to 19.00, April to September and from 7.00 to 18.00, October to March. To preserve the sacred character of the church, groups consisting of more than five members and accompanied by a guide are kindly requested to use "audio-guides" which can be rented at the entrance to the Basilica. Proper dress is required for admission to the Basilica To rent "audio-guides": telephone +39.06.69883229 or +39.06.69881898.

A note from Joan: “Proper dress” means that knees and shoulders must be covered - for men and women.

HISTORICAL AND ARTISTIC MUSEUM (Treasury): The Treasury is open from 9.00 to 18:15, April to September and from 9.00 to 17.15, October to March. The entrance is from inside St. Peter’s Basilica (on the left side).

VISIT TO THE DOME: Visits to the dome of St. Peter’s are possible every day from 8.00 to 18.00, April to September and from 8.00 to 17.00, October to March. The entrance is at the portico of the Basilica (on the right hand side of the basilica, just off the atrium).

A note from Joan: There are 320 steps to the top of the dome and it is an incredibly wonderful.." (Continued here).

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