The Pope had a packed schedule on Thursday. He met the president of Israel and had few additional audiences in the Vatican. But at around seven o clock, the Pope decided to make an errand, near the city's Piazza Navona, to get his glasses fixed with a local eye doctor.
"I was the one who should have gone to him at Casa Santa Marta, but he told his assistant, Guillermo Karcher, that he wanted to come here. So, as the saying goes, I just made the sign of the Cross.”
People couldn't believe their eyes. It wasn't long before locals and tourists gathered outside the shop, for a chance to see the Pope.
The Pope had his eyes checked and he changed the glasses, but to save some money, he didn't change the frame. He was there for about 40 minutes.
"I was waiting for my car and then a girl said, 'my God, it's the Pope.'”
"We saw it later on the news. We were there, but we didn't catch a glimpse of the Pope.”
"In all my years doing this and with so many people who have come and gone, I would have never imagined something like this would happen to me.”
The eye wear shop is not extravagant. It's only about 90 square feet. But from one day to the next, it's it gained huge publicity.
Alessandro has been working here for 40 years. He says the Pope's visit is without a doubt the highlight of his career. He was John Paul II's eye doctor and also Benedict XVI's. But, never had a Pope gone to him.
The Pope has said many a times that he misses wandering the city streets and going about his business. At least for about an hour, the Pope got to walk around and do errands, just like an average person.