Is attending a Papal Audience in Vatican City on your bucket list? You will see the Pope deliver readings and blessings in Italian first, and then in English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish and more (depending on who is in attendance). At the end of the mass the Pope leads a group prayer, Our Father, in Latin, which you can usually find printed on the back of the ticket. Read on to learn about how you can attend this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
When is the Papal Audience?
So you’ve taken a Vatican tour, now it’s time to see the Pope up close and personal. The audience is held on Wednesday’s at 10:30a.m. In summer, because of the heat, sometimes the Papal Audience is moved up to 10a.m. However, this depends on the day, so make sure you check the schedule ahead of time. Also, the frequency is also not set in stone. The Papal Audience only happens when the Pope is actually in Rome, which means that he doesn’t deliver a service every Wednesday.
There are people from all over the world who come to see the audience so competition for a seat, front row or not, is fierce. Security opens between 8am and 8:30a.m. but I recommend getting there even earlier than that. Shoot for a 6:30-7a.m. arrival time to make sure you get a good seat. Just be prepared with a book or snack to keep you occupied.
Expect the audience to last 1 ½- 2 hours.
Where is It?
In spring, summer and early fall, the mass is held outside in St. Peter’s Square. There are seats in the front area and standing room for the remaining space. Tickets are free, however seats are strictly on a first come, first serve basis. So, if your heart is set on a good seat get that alarm clock set early. Just like the Vatican Museums, the early bird gets the worm.
How to get Tickets for the papal audience
To reserve your free tickets for the Papal Audience, first check the calendar of events presided over by the Pope. If you need less than 10 tickets, you can pick your tickets up directly from the guards a day before the mass. Click here to see the exact meeting point at the big bronze doors.
If you want to pre-book your tickets even further in advance, or if you are a group bigger than 10 people, first contact the Vatican offices with this completed form. They will then give you all the details of when and where to collect your tickets.
Tip: Ticket reservations can be done only with a fax so if the number is busy, wait a few minutes, then try again. Patience is a virtue.
What Should I Bring to the Papal Audience?
Arriving early is a must if you want a good seat. Bring something to read, eat and drink to help pass the time and keep you energized. Also bring a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and comfortable shoes – this will save you from the heat as well as provide relief from standing and waiting.
Vatican City & St. Peter’s Basilica Tours
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