Can you see the Pope when visiting the Vatican?

Yes, the Pope lives in the Vatican City which is hardly 5 km away from Rome.  You can be up close to the Pope in the Papal Audience on Wednesdays. The Pope addresses thousands of people who have faith in the Catholic Church. Also, the Pope meets people on Sunday mornings and special holidays which is known as Angelus.

We will discuss the ways you can see and experience the Pope’s grace.

Visit the St. Peter’s Square

You can see the Pope on Sunday mornings at St. Peter’s Square. The gathering is known as Angelus where the Pope addresses the crowd at noon.  You will only have to worry about the overcrowded space as there is no fee to see “il Papa”. Usually, the Angelus ends within 15 to 20 minutes and it includes greetings in several languages, prayers, and blessings.

Make sure that you are at St. Peter’s Square at noon to witness Pope appearing on a window in the papal apartments.  These apartments are situated on the right side of the square.  The Pope starts his address at exactly 12:30 pm. You will experience a nice holy vibe from the crowd even though the place would be jam-packed.

It is better to visit the circle in August to encounter less crowds. We advise you to carry water and a scarf to cover your head as the temperatures can rise pretty high. You can also visit the Basilica for free after the crowd disperses.  It is the best time to explore the Basilica as the majority of people are outside.  You can also attend the Sunday mass if possible but it is only open to the associated members of the Catholic Church.

Join the Papal audience

You can join the Papal audience in the Nervi auditorium or at St Peter’s Square every Wednesday at 10:30 am.  The Pope starts the sermon by riding around in the Popemobile and kissing some lucky babies. You can arrange a ticket by faxing a request to the Vatican offices.  The ticket is free but you can ditch the hassle by buying a ticket from someone else.

There is no seating arrangement and you will not be allowed to enter the Basilica on the same ticket. You won’t need a ticket if you join the crowd in the morning but the limited access to bathrooms can create trouble. St Peter opens the gate at 8:00 am but the crowed starts gathering as early as 7:30 am.  The Papal gathering usually runs for an hour or 90 minutes. Almost 80,000 people attend Pope’s address on an average.

Sometimes, the Papal is also organized at the Vatican hall. It is free but you will still need an invitation and a ticket to enter the hall.

Make sure that you dedicate an entire day to see the Pope or it would be a missed opportunity to witness the head of the sovereign of the Vatican City. You will get more to read on this page about Pope and Vatican City.