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Papal Audience Tickets

The Pope holds regular Papal General Audiences on Wednesdays at 10:00 or 10:30 am Tickets, which are free, are required for these audiences with the Pope and must be requested well in advance as they are very popular. There are several ways to get tickets:

  • The Church of St. Susanna, home of the American Catholic Church in Rome, offers assistance in English to purchase tickets for the Papal Audience (for the Wednesday General Audience only, not for Papal Masses). Requests can be made up to 6 weeks in advance, and you will only receive a response approximately 2 weeks before the requested date. You will then need to pick up your tickets in Santa Susana on Tuesday afternoon between 4:30 and 6:15. A donation for your service is appreciated.
  • You can send a letter or fax requesting General Audience tickets or Papal Mass tickets directly to the Prefecture of the Papal Home. You can then collect the tickets on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning in front of the audience.
  • If you don’t want the hassle of trying to get tickets yourself, tickets for the Papal Public can be booked through Select Italy for a reservation fee. They suggest making your request at least 2 months in advance. Select Italy service also includes transportation from your hotel to St. Peter’s Square, where you will collect your tickets before entering. Other companies may also offer reservations for a fee.
  • If you show up on Wednesday morning, you can sometimes get last minute tickets for no-show, but it’s usually not very likely. However, beware of resellers who claim to sell you tickets.

Remember, the tickets themselves are free. Tickets are not required for the regular Sunday Masses or some of the special events, but expect large crowds and arrive early.

Attend a Wednesday general audience with the Pope

On Wednesdays, the papal audience usually takes place in St. Peter’s Square at 10:00 or 10:30 a.m. and lasts about 90 minutes. To enter you will have to go through security according to the instructions of the guards. If you want to get a good seat, you need to arrive about 3 hours in advance.

If the weather is bad, the public can take place in St. Peter’s Basilica and in the Audience Hall; follow the instructions given by the guards. During the summer, general audiences have been held at the Pope’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, in the Castelli Romani. However, Pope Francis has not been using the summer residence. Check the calendar in advance for the location of the summer hearing.

You must dress appropriately to be admitted. No shorts or tank tops and women must have their shoulders covered. You can bring items to be blessed, but it is best not to bring a backpack or large bags. Photography is allowed.

If you want to stay in the area, check out our suggestions for places near the Vatican.

Easter and Christmas Masses

Rome is one of Italy’s top destinations during Easter and the Christmas and New Year holiday season. Not only are there special holiday events in Rome, but it is also very popular to go to the Vatican during the holiday season. One of the main attractions is going to a mass presided over by the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica. Tickets are required to attend these popular masses. Tickets are free and must be reserved well in advance following the instructions of the Papal Family Prefecture.

Christmas Masses at St. Peter’s Basilica (tickets required)

  • December 24: Christmas Eve mass
  • December 31: New Year’s Eve
  • January 1: New Years Day Mass
  • January 6: feast of the Mass of the Epiphany

Visit the Vatican website for the full calendar of Masses and General Audiences.

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