Getting tickets to the Pope's Mass in Rome

A sunny, warm October day in St Peter's
Last week a colleague and I were in Rome to cover some stories, and we were fortunate enough to be allocated tickets for the Mass of October 7th - the opening of The Year of Faith.

So this wild Irish girl was in St Peter's Square and on the look-out for the office where she might collect the tickets...

We had to pass through security, and for a moment I thought that I ought to have one of those plastic bags for my lipstick and 'liquids', like at the airport, but the security guards found no problem with the contents of my enormous satchel. Walking around the marble columns, we found a signpost for the office...

Then we were greeted by a long flight of steps, at the top of which, I asked the guard, 'is this the place where we collect the tickets?' He gave me a stern 'yes', and told me to put away my phone.

And then to visit St Peter's Basilica. They have gotten a little bit stricter with the modesty policy and were telling women to cover bare legs, and some were resorting to shawls and scarves tied around their waist. It was a reoccurring topic of conversation among frequent visitors to Rome that it had never been so crowded.

 A tapestry of St Hildegard of Bingen hung outside the basilica.


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