This tour presents the rare opportunity to be in the audience for a blessing from the Pope, and still have time to explore many of Rome's other attractions. It starts with a 90-minute drive to the Vatican, where you'll take your reserved seat. In time, the Pope will appear and bless the audience and speak for approximately 1½ hours. After this unforgettable experience, you will re-board your motor coach and drive to a local restaurant for a traditional Italian lunch.
Then, venture into the Via Veneto area for approximately two hours of free time for shopping or exploring Rome on your own. Afterwards, you'll meet your escort for an orientation drive of the Eternal City, through the Borghese Gardens and along Via Veneto to Barberini Square and its Triton Fountain. At Piazza Venezie, you will see the monument to King Victor Emanuel II. Drive by the Forum, the Colosseum, Circus Maximus and Palatine Hill, where Rome's emperors once resided. One the return to the ship, you'll pass through St. Paul's Gate and glimpse the Pyramid of Caius Cestius.
Please note: This excursion is only available on Wednesdays. The Audience will be held either in St. Peter's Square or in the Aula Paolo VI, depending upon weather conditions. You will arrive early to avoid lines and crowds, so there will be some waiting. Modest attire is required. Knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered. Comfortable shoes, water, a hat and sunscreen are recommended. This includes numerous steps and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns.