Pope Benedict XVI will not be taking a vacation in the Italian Alps this summer but instead spend all the season at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo near Rome, the Vatican announced today.
According to a Holy See press office statement: “During the summer, the Holy Father will travel directly from Rome to Castel Gandolfo to spend the whole summer. He appreciated the calls received this year to spend a few weeks in alpine locations and has sincerely thanked the bishops who had offered, but this year he prefers to begin his period of rest and study immediately, without undertaking further transfers.”
Since becoming Pope, Benedict XVI has spent about three weeks in the mountainous regions of northern Italy during July. He used to also holiday there when he was cardinal, staying at Bressanone in the Dolomites. It’s not known exactly why the Holy Father has decided to stay in Rome this year, but last summer he broke his wrist while staying in Val d’Aosta near the French-Italian border and that might have had some effect on his decision.
He is thought to particularly enjoy staying in Castel Gandolfo where he often resides until as late as early October.