A bucket list experience for an adventurer or devout believer in Italy is to see the Pope give a service. This is possible with his general audience mass on Wednesday’s. You will see the Pope deliver readings and blessings in Italian first, and then English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, and sometimes more languages depending on the visitors. 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. Our guide shows you how you can get tickets for the Papal Audience in Rome so you can make the most of this easy experience and create memories to last a lifetime!
So you’ve taken a Vatican tour and now it’s time to see the Pope up close! The audience is held on Wednesday’s at 10:30. Because of the heat in summer it is possible for it to be moved up to 10:00, but this depends on the day so be sure to check the schedule ahead of time. 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. The summer months are the most infrequent, so check the schedule before you plan your day.
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 8:30am but I recommend getting there even earlier than that. Shoot for a 6:30-7am arrival time and you’ll be sure to get a seat. Just be prepared with a book or snack to keep you occupied.
Expect the audience to last 1 ½- 2 hours.
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.
How to get Tickets for the papal audience
To reserve your free tickets for the Papal Audience first check the schedule from above to ensure the Pope will be in town on the Wednesday of your trip.
If you need less than 10 tickets you can pick your tickets up directly from the guards 1 day before the mass. Click here to see the exact meeting point at the big bronze doors. You can go 8am-8pm in the summer, or 8am-6pm in the winter.
If you want to pre-book your tickets even further in advance, or if you are a group bigger than 10 people, you need to contact the Vatican offices with this completed form. They will then give you all the details of when and where to collect your tickets.
***Ticket reservations can be done only with a fax so if the number is busy wait a few minutes, and then try again. Patience is a virtue.
What to bring
Arriving early is a must if you want a good seat so something to read, eat, and drink will help pass the time and keep you energized. Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and comfortable shoes will also save you from the heat as well as provide relief from standing and waiting.
Need help planning your Italy vacation? Our Travel experts are here to help with our personal Italy Trip planning Services. From booking your hotel to getting you tickets for the Papal audience, The Roman Guys will make sure your Italy vacation is filled with unforgettable experiences that fit your needs and wants.
It’s always time to eat in Rome so don’t go too far away from the Vatican after the audience and fuel up at one of our favorite restaurants nearby! Check out the best places to eat near the Vatican for after the audience.