This year, we spent easter in Dubrovnik – more on this later this week – but two years ago, the boyfriend and I went on a quick weekend break in Rome. It happened that it was Easter weekend, and during our planning process, found that you could request tickets to the various Easter services held at the Vatican.
The Vatican suggests that you apply at least a few months in advance; however, we stumbled upon this option just about 5 weeks before our planned holiday, sent our ticket request and received confirmation a few days later.
When we arrived in Rome on the Thursday night, we made the plan to walk to the Vatican early on Saturday morning to collect out Saturday evening tickets. The flat we booked on Airbnb was a shortly 35-40 minute walk away and the weather was beautiful! We ventured out early in the morning, spending nearly 5 hours getting to the Vatican, stopping along the way to look, in awe, of our surroundings, and of course, to eat.
Upon arrival at St. Peter’s Square, we wandered around for a little while, trying to find where we were meant to be to collect our tickets. We were finally given two tickets for the Sunday Easter Mass (as opposed to our previously booked Saturday night tickets), and were on our way to explore a bit more.
On Sunday morning, we were meant to be at St. Peter’s Square before the 10:30 start time, and not wanting to be late, we left our flat around 830 am. When we arrived and went through all security checks/screenings, we were corralled into a large, fenced in area and given a service book. After seeing other people wandering near the front of the crowd (outside the fenced in area), we decided to try our hand at getting up there. We did have tickets, but were told the area was full. To our surprise, when we finally made our way up there, there were empty seats!
We found our seats, nestled in a group of nuns and clergymen, and awaited the services. It was a beautifully sunny and warm day. Neither my boyfriend and I are religious at all. We only wanted to go because it was a once in a lifetime (ish) experience, and when in Rome, right? I am very happy that we went. It was a beautiful service and it was a great experience. It was a bit surreal to watch nuns basically fan-girling over the pope. The amount of selfie sticks we had to actually duck from whilst the pope was going around on his golf cart / pope-mobile was insane.
Have you ever experienced a service at St. Peter’s Square? What was your experience?