So... you want to see the Pope on your trip to Rome? Good idea. It can be the highlight of your trip. But first, you want to make sure that he'll be there when you are.
Visit the Vatican website, select your language, and take a look at the calendar so you can check Pope Francis’ schedule. Note: his schedule is usually announced only 2-3 months in advance. Or, as an alternative you can download the fun and handy dandy Pope App. Yes, there really is a Pope app!
If you'd like to Pope Francis on your visit to Rome, here’s all the info you'll need to know.
What are the Different Ways I Can See the Pope in Rome?
See the Pope in Rome - Wednesday Papal Audience
BREAKING NEWS FOR AUGUST 2015
Possibly the easiest way to see the Pope in Rome is to attend a Papal audience. These are held (almost) every Wednesday when Pope Francis is in Rome. It’s quite easy to get Papal audience tickets, so if you're in Rome on a Wednesday and so is the Pope, why not get tickets?
But remember: the Papal audience is not a mass. It's an opportunity to listen to the Pope give an address in Italian, followed by prayers, a homily, and perhaps some singing. At the end of the ceremony, the Pope will bless religious articles. So if you have any rosaries, medallions, bibles or other religious objects, feel free to them along!
Usually, the Papal audience is held outside in Saint Peter’s square. When it’s raining heavily or very cold, the Papal audience is held inside at the Hall of Pope Paul VI (to the left of St Peters as you are facing it). If there are large crowds, there may be one group in the Audience Hall and one group in St. Peters Basilica.
And, in the late summer, if the pope goes to his summer residence just outside Rome at Castel Gandolfo, then it may be held there. So far, Pope Francis has elected not to hold Papal audiences at Castel Gandolfo.
Tickets are free, but can be very hard to come by if for Easter Sunday and Christmas midnight mass. Here's how to get them:
See the Pope in Rome - Sunday Angelus
If you want to see the Pope in Rome, and are here on a Sunday, head to Saint Peter’s Square at noon for the Angelus.
Pope Francis will appear from the window of an apartment there. He will give a short speech followed by the Angelus and end the ceremony with an Apostolic blessing. He may also greet the crowd in various languages. The blessing, including the various greetings, usually lasts a maximum of 20 minutes.
You don't need tickets for the Sunday Angelus. But you should plan to get there early to get a good spot.
Pope Francis chose not to live in the official papal residence in the Apostolic Palace. Instead, he lives in the Vatican guest house. However, the Pope does appear at the window of the Apostolic Palace for the Sunday Angelus.
See the Pope in Rome - Non-holiday Papal Masses
All Liturgical Celebrations conducted by the pope (Papal Masses) require a ticket. It's free and easy to request them. For most Papal Masses, you can request tickets up to a few days prior to the event. Papal Massses are held fairly regularly, and may be held in various churches throughout Rome.
For example, the Pope may visit one of the other Patriarchal Basilicas in Rome, Santa Maria Maggiore (Saint Mary Major), San Giovanni in Laterano (Saint John in Lateran), or San Paolo Fuori le Mura (Saint Pauls Outside the Walls). Alternatively, on Ash Wednesday the Pope usually gives mass at Santa Sabina, a beautiful ancient basilica on the Aventine Hill.
To see a schedule of upcoming Papal Masses (and also to request tickets), visit the website of the Prefecture of the Papal Household.
See the Pope in Rome - Holiday Papal Masses
It goes without saying that tickets to very popular Papal Masses, such as for Christmas Eve and for Easter Sunday may be very difficult to come by. Everyone wants to see the Pope in Rome during that time!
But it never hurts to ask. If you really want to see the Pope in Rome during Christmas or Easter, your best bet is requesting these particular tickets at least 6 months in advance.
If you don’t or cannot get tickets, you may still attend. You will just be outside the church where the mass is being held and you can watch everything on giant Jumbotron screens. Both the Christmas and Easter seasons offer a lot of different Papal Masses you may attend.
This list contains the Papal Masses taking place over the Easter holiday season. Tickets are required for almost all events, and for midnight Mass on Easter Sunday and Palm Sunday, they will be especially difficult to come by:
See the Pope in Rome - Other Holiday Events with Pope Francis
Urbi et Orbi: Twice a year (on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday) the Pope gives a special blessing to the crowd called the Urbi et Orbi ("to the City and to the World"). You may also watch this speech live on Vatican TV, or listen on Vatican radio. At noon, the Pope will come out of the from the central loggia of Saint Peter's Basilica for the blessing. No tickets are required to attend the Urbi et Orbi.
Immacolata: The Pope pas homage to Mary at the Spanish Steps: On December 8, which is the Immacolata, or Immaculate Conception, the Pope visits Piazza Mignanelli, a plaza next to the bottom of the Spanish Steps. During this event, the Pope goes to pay homage to Mary, whose statue is at the very top of a pillar there. (According to the Vatican website, this is called "Act of Veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the occasion of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception"). His scheduled time for this visit is 4pm, so if you want to get a spot, you should get there a lot earlier than that.
Good Friday before Easter - via Crucis at the Colosseum: On Good Friday before Easter, the Pope leads a procession of the via Crucis at the Colosseum. No ticket is required but expect large crowds.
This article is copied from an editorial posted on Styleforum, originally written by David Isle. All credit goes to the original author; I just thought it was so good, it needed to be shared.
My Italian has gotten good enough that I can understand pretty much everything the locals say to me. The only words I consistently miss are the English words that they insert into conversation like french fries stuck in a spaghetti carbonara. WTF is “Nike” when it rhymes with “hike”? “Levi’s” when it rhymes with “heavies”? “Ee Red Hot Keelee Pepper?” But one English phrase comes up so often in conversation, at least within the rag trade, that I can pick it up on the first take: “Made In Italy.”
Cosa Vuol Dire “Made In Italy”?
To understand the meaning of “Made In Italy,” you have to go back to the genesis of the Italian nation, in the second half of the 19th century. Before that, Italy was a geographic concept, but not a political or cultural one. There was no real sense of an “Italian people” in the same way as there was already for the Germans, who formed a nation around the same time. Italy became one country not through collaboration, but through conquest by the Piedmont in the far north, which might as well have been Sweden as far as many Italians were concerned. If you think of Italy as a boot, the Piedmont would be the knee. A knee the rest of the peninsula would feel at their throats.
Citizens of the newly formed Italian state had little shared history, so newly-crowned propagandists created one, often relying on Roman iconography. Over the following decades, nationalistic myths hypertrophied into fascism - also largely a Northern phenomenon. Italy’s defeat in World War II broke this fever, but at a huge cost. The War was, for Italy, also a civil war, mostly pitting North against South, breaking open all the fissures that had been plastered over at the nation’s birth.
Two industries recreated Italian identity following the war - the film industry, and the fashion industry. Film helped the country understand its experience with the war and the poverty that followed. Fashion gave Italians a new nationalistic myth. Its appeals were more to the artistic achievements of the Italian Renaissance than the empire-building of the Roman era, and it helped that the industry’s first successes were in Tuscany, birthplace of Michelangelo. The Sala Bianca in the Pitti Palace hosted the first Italian fashion show in 1951, as well as Brioni’s men’s fashion show, famously the first of its kind, in 1952. Italian designers were able to capture something of the uniquely Italian approach to luxury and craft that had eluded the stuffy couturiers and tailors of Paris and Savile Row. As post-war realist film gave way to Fellini’s surrealist fantasies, Marcello Mastroianni became the guy everyone wanted to look, dress, and act like. And he wore Italian suits.
Allure, but Insecure
By 1980, the industry had grown tremendously, but had become something different. It had mostly moved to Milan, the industrial behemoth of the North. And it had begun to shift its focus from brands like Brioni to emerging giants like Armani and Ferre’. It was at this point that the “Made In Italy” campaign began, with the ambitious goal of branding an entire country. As one politico at Pitti’s “Opening Ceremony” said this year,” ‘Made In Italy’ is not just about selling fashion - it’s about selling Italian quality of life.” “Made In Italy” was intended to convey more than just the country of origin, but elegance, sophistication, craftsmanship - as if Leonardo DaVinci himself had blessed every stitch.
The campaign has been a massive success. Armani remains one of the most valuable brands in all of fashion. Gucci, Prada, and Zegna aren’t far behind. The manufacturing infrastructure that supports these brands is now also used by brands from Huntsman to Tom Ford to Ralph Lauren Purple Label, all of which are Made In Italy.
But the future is uncertain. At the Pitti’s Opening Ceremony, politician after politician announced their full support for the Italian fashion industry, for Pitti as a trade show, and their belief in the enduring allure of Italian luxury. Each one pledged a re-investment in “Made In Italy”. Which is what you do when you’re worried that a good idea’s time is running out.
The worries come mostly from China. A decade ago, there were no Chinese factories that could produce an approximation of Italian goods. Even if you stuck a “Made In Italy” label on a Chinese product, it wouldn’t fool anybody who cared enough to know the difference. Today, that’s no longer true. Chinese workers can produce high quality - they just can’t sell it at a high price without the “Made In Italy” label. As a result, there’s a lot of money to be made by someone who can figure out how to get that label on a Chinese product.
A few miles outside of Florence is a town called Prato. The Pitti Opening Ceremony panel referenced it a few times as a major player within the Italian fashion industry, as in “Milan, Florence, and Prato.” I had never heard of Prato, and you probably haven’t either. But it is home to about 3,500 workshops that produce clothing, textiles, and accessories. The majority of people working in these workshops are Chinese.
Nor is it the only population of Chinese workers within Italy. There’s even a Chinese neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples that includes garment workshops. Of course, their work gets the “Made In Italy” label - how could it not?
But other products can get the label too, even if only some of the manufacture occurred inside Italian borders. It may not even take very much work on a product within Italy to make it “Made In Italy”. This is because the percentage of Italian work that goes into a product is calculated based on cost, rather than time (which would be difficult to measure anyway). Since wages in Italy are much higher than in China, you could have most of the work done in China for $4.90, pay an Italian $5.10 to put on the finishing touches, and the entire thing can get stamped “Made In Italy.”
It goes without saying that Italians have no monopoly on craftsmanship or design taste. There is no reason a well-trained Chinese person can’t do at least as good a job as an Italian. One way to view this development is that Italians traded for decades on a promise of inherent superiority, and Chinese workers have now proven that promise false. Not only have they become just as good as “Made In Italy,” they have become “Made In Italy.”
But it’s difficult for native-born Italians to be so generous. For one thing, competition from immigrants eats away at Italian wages and profits. Heirs of businesses that span multiple generations worry that they will have to choose between keeping their companies afloat and maintaining the quality and integrity of their product. For another, if customers hear about Chinese workers in Italian factories, the mystique of Leonardo’s blessing seems to lose its luster. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it’s hard to maintain national pride in “Made In Italy” when many of the workers behind it are foreign. So opinions are strong. Companies that dilute “Made In Italy” by employing immigrants or moving production overseas are considered traitors who don’t respect their product or their heritage.
Protecting the Brand
The backlash prompted some political movement in 2010. The Italian government raided factories in Prato and found illegal immigrants working there. It also passed a law restricting further the products that can use the “Made In Italy” label, including creating a new “100% Made In Italy” label that can be used only by products completely made in Italy.
But this is a losing battle. Illegal immigration is difficult to prevent. Italy’s national laws on product labeling are constrained by EU rules, since there is a free trade agreement among all member countries. The new levels of “Made In Italy” only confuse the consumer and sound defensive. Consider this Pitti booth insistently declaring itself “Absolutely Made In Italy”:
Doesn’t exactly instill you with confidence. When they start using intensifying adverbs, you know it’s bad.
The most encouraging development for Italian manufacturing in the past few years is not new regulations, but rising prices elsewhere. Alberto Merola told me that his glove company, Merola, saw some of its private label clients take production to cheaper countries a few years ago, but now many are coming back. “If the workers are good,” he said, “they get paid, no matter where they are.”
Even if “Made In Italy” is eventually doomed, it can look forward a long and stately decadence. Right now, Italy is still sexy. Pitti has been such a huge success that the Italian government is trying to replicate it with other trade shows - further support for the Milan show, and collaborative shows with the US in New York and with China in Shanghai.
Italy already exports 62% of the clothing it makes. In the end it may be this that finally dilutes the Italian national brand beyond recognition. Many of the Italian brands I spoke to at Pitti were there hoping to attract Asian buyers. At one stand, I was shown a wall of double-breasted plaid waistcoats, complete with watch chains. After some discussion, they brought out from hiding a very nice plain navy overcoat that they planned to show the Italian buyers the following week in Milan. I wonder how many of the chained waistcoats they have to sell before they stop producing the navy overcoats. How much “Italian quality of life” can you sell and still have some left?
Everyone seeking Italian dual citizenship will come across the word “apostille” at some point during the process of collecting documents. At first glance, this French word seems confusing--what exactly is an apostille, what does it do and why do you need one? With this post, I hope to clear up some of the confusion.
What is an apostille?
An apostille is an internationally recognized form of authentication. Its only function is to identity any stamp or seal affixed to an official document, certify the authenticity of the signature on the document, and the capacity in which the person signing the document acted. In order for your American documents to be considered valid in Italy, they must bear an attached apostille issued by the relevant Secretary of State.
In the United States, an apostille is a separate sheet of paper in which the details of the original document are summarized and authenticated by the Secretary of State of the state in which the original was issued. For example, a document issued in California must be apostilled by the Secretary of State in California.
The history of the apostille
The apostille was first instituted at the Hague Convention of 1961 which did away with the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Under the Hague Convention, participating countries agreed to recognize public documents issued by other signatory countries as long as those public documents are authenticated by an apostille. In other words, the apostille guarantees that public documents issued in one signatory country will be recognized as valid in another signatory country without further documentation.
Apostilles in different countries
In some countries like Spain, the apostille may be obtained electronically (e-app), replacing the holographic signature in accordance with internationally standards. In these cases, there is also usually an electronic record of apostilles (e-register) which replaces the traditional card catalog. In others like the United States, the apostille is a separate document which gets attached to the original, and must be issued by the Secretary of State of each state and his or her deputies as competent authorities. In the United Kingdom, all apostilles are issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Milton Keynes.
How do you get an apostille?
To be eligible for an apostille, a document must be issued or certified by an officer recognized by the authority issuing the apostille. This sounds more complicated than it is: for example, in the state of Vermont, the Secretary of State maintains a registry of all notaries public—this means that all documents that have been notarized within Vermont are eligible for apostilles.
In some places, intermediate certifications may be required in the county where the document originated before it can be apostilled. For example, in New York City, the Office of Vital Records—the office which issues birth certificates—is notdirectly recognized by the New York Secretary of State. This means that as a consequence, the signature of the City Clerk must be certified by the County Clerk (which is recognized by the Secretary of State) to make the birth certificate eligible for an apostille.
Confused yet? Don’t be! Here is a list of information regarding rules for apostilles in each U.S. state. Use the drop down menu to select your state and follow the directions in order to obtain your apostille.
Audra de Falco is a certified freelance Italian, Spanish and French translator and interpreter. She loves writing about the profession and dual Italian citizenship. Her free time is spent mostly learning Dutch, reading and exploring New York. Contact.