February 28, 2013. (Romereports.com)
As a retired Pope, this is where Benedict XVI will live for about two months. It's the town of Castel Gandolfo
, about 25 miles southeast of Rome. The property includes the Papal Palace, two convents, one school, farms, gardens and the Vatican Observatory.
Only about 8,000 people live here and the Pope's summer
residence is a key part of the town. In fact just a few feet away from
the Papal Palace is this local ice cream shop, where John Paul II and
Benedict XVI have ordered from. STEFANO VERUSI
Gelateria Carosi “Benedict XVI would order ice cream for some of his visitors. Personally he liked the 'Fior de Latte' flavor and also vanilla.”
XVI spent his first summer here as Pope, back in 2005 to avoid Rome's
intense summer heat. He would spend those months studying, reading and
even writing books. The tradition itself goes back generations. The
first Pope to use the summer residence in Castel Gandolfo was Urban VIII
Barberini back in 1626.
The Papal residence also has a World
War II connection. Since the Vatican was a neutral country, Pope Pius
XII opened Castel Gandolfo, where about 12,000 Jews sought refuge.
During that time the papal apartment was reserved for pregnant mothers
to give birth. At least 40 babies were born there.
Now Castel Gandolfo will become part of modern history as it welcomes a retired Pope.
us he will always be The Holy Father. He was elected the Holy Father,
so at least here he will continue to have that title. We will still
refer to him as Pope.”
Eventually Benedict XVI will return to
the Vatican. He will live in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, along with
the so called 'Papal Family' that has accompanied him throughout this
The building is undergoing repairs, but it's quite
simple. The monastery was built in the 90's under the pontificate of
John Paul II, so that contemplative nuns would have a place for retreat
and prayer, inside Vatican Walls.
Now, 85 year old Benedict XVI will retire here to, as he says, serve the Church in prayer.