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If you want to see St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday morning, you may be frustrated in your attempts – it is usually closed before and during the Papal address at noon. But there are also some advantages to the situation – you get to see ‘il Papa’ for free! 

P1190184If you arrive at this time and hang around St. Peter’s square, you will likely see the Pope appear at his window in the papal apartments to the right of the square to give his weekly address! The square can get pretty crowded, but the atmosphere is usually a good-natured one. August is a good month to do this as there are fewer people in the city – but it can get hot, so bring water and something to cover your head.

Whether you’re religious or not, it’s always amazing to see a globally important figure in the flesh.

The Basilica opens again just after 12.30pm, so as the crowd disperses just join the end of the line. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the front, but if you’re near the front of the line, you’ll find fewer people in the Basilica than normal. And it’s free!