Receive a blessing from Pope Francis with a Papal Audience ticket! Feel the growing excitement of attendees in Piazza San Pietro as they search for their first glimpses of His Holiness. For many travellers, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the leader of the Christian world. For the denizens of Rome, it’s simply Wednesday. Listen to what’s on the Pope’s mind as you observe the assorted reactions of the crowd. A Papal Audience ticket provides not only a personal, spiritual experience; but, also some of the best people-watching in all of Europe!
Early bird. Try to arrive at Piazza San Pietro 30 minutes early, at the minimum. This will increase your chances of finding a bench so you aren’t standing the whole time.
Stay hydrated. Vatican City is hot. And, you’re going to be there awhile. Bring water.
Access denied. Even the piazza has a dress code. Keep your shoulders and knees covered or the guards may turn you away at the gate.
Good to know
Best time to visit
Rome is one of the hottest travel destinations in Europe, literally and figuratively. Thus, so is Vatican City. If you don’t feel comfortable wringing the sweat out of your clothes in front of the Pope, consider purchasing a Papal Audience ticket for late spring or early fall. During the winter, Papal Audiences are often held inside the Paul VI Audience Hall. With far less capacity, tickets are scarce and there is a higher chance that you’ll leave Rome disappointed.
One way to get to Piazza San Pietro is by metro. Take Line A to the Ottaviano-S. Pietro station. Then walk south on Via Ottaviano towards the piazza. However, a local will tell you that the regional rail service is best way to go. Take Line FL3 to the Viterbo-Roma stop. Or, take line FL5 to the Civitavecchia-Roma stop. There are also many bus lines with stop near Saint Peter’s. Try taking line 40 to the Traspontina/Conciliazone stop or line 64 to the Cavalleggeri/San Pietro stop.
Money saving tips
If you are more interested in Saint Peter’s Basilica than you are the Papal Audience, try to stand as close as you can to the front doors while the Pope speaks. Saint Peter’s is closed in preparation for the Papal Audience. And, when the audience is over, Saint Peter’s opens back up. This is a good time to get in and see the basilica with fewer people in it...for a time.
Did you know?
Impress your friend with these Papal Audience fun facts.
Pope Francis is the first pontiff since Pope Lando (913-914 A.D.) to choose an original name. The name will be changed to Pope Francis I if any future pope chooses the same name.
A pope has a 30% chance, or less, of becoming a saint. Eighty-one out of 265 popes have earned the honor; although, most of them were fast-tracked for having been martyred during the early church in Rome.
Piazza San Pietro acts as a gigantic sundial and calendar, with the obelisk at the center acting as the sundial’s gnomon.
According to the terms of the Lateran Treaty, Piazza San Pietro is under the authority of the Italian Police for crowd control purposes, despite the fact that it lies within Vatican City.