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Pope to begin summer vacation at Castel Gandolfo

Benedict XVI to study and rest at palace outside Rome

07 July, 16:07
Pope to begin summer vacation at Castel Gandolfo (ANSA) - Vatican City, July 7 - Pope Benedict XVI was due to move to his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome late Thursday to begin his annual vacation.

The tiny hilltop village overlooks Lake Albano, 15 km south-east of Rome, and has hosted popes since the 15th century.

Benedict will spend his summer there reading, writing and praying.

The head of the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardi, told Vatican Radio on Thursday that "the best way for the pope to rest is for him to study and write about theology, sacred scripture, because they are topics that fascinate him". Private and general papal audiences will be suspended throughout July until August 3. The pope will lead Angelus prayers on Sunday and religious holidays at the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo. In the past Benedict holidayed at Les Combes de Indrod, a mountain resort,in the Val d'Aosta region in northern Italy, but last year he chose Castel Gandolfo for his summer retreat.

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