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Rome Reports

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Rome souvenir shops still waiting on increase in sales

LUIGI INGLESE Shop Owner "Clearly, religious people and pilgrims will come in mass to see, above all, the new Pope. So for the conclave we will probably see a large number of pilgrims than what it usual for this time of the year.� VINCENZO MODICA Shop Owner "Where the news is, there will certainly be a lot of movement, so we are waiting for more tourists.� Despite the historic actions surrounding Benedict XVI, it has not made his items more popular, at least not yet. They say nine out of ten times, most tourists look for items from another Pope, John Paul II. But it's for a good reason. VINCENZO MODICA Shop Owner "The best thing about all this is that we are talking about a Pope that has not died. He is alive, and I am happy to be able to talk to him.� Still the shop owners hope for big bucks, though they say the economy today makes it harder to make a living, and for pilgrims to come all the way to Rome. LUIGI INGLESE Shop Owner "I think that whoever becomes Pope, and with this crisis, there is no Pope that will make us work more, or less. So, it depends on the availability of the pilgrims that come into the city.� They are also waiting on the new Pope's name and face. Soon after his election, it will end up all over the merchandise on their shelves. RCarr SN - -PR -U: