Every Wednesday, on the condition that this Wednesday is not also a religious holiday, a Papal Audience takes place. Reservations are mandatory and the easiest way to do this is to go is to get them at the Vatican itself. Another option is to do this through the Church of Santa Susanna in Rome.
Papal Audience Rome
(Note that,during the Covid crisis, the Green Pass is required to get into the basilica!)
When do the papal audiences take place?
Every Wednesday, unless he is traveling, the Pope holds a public audience. When the weather is fine, it takes place in St. Peter’s Square. There are 24,000 seats. It starts at 9:30 a.m. Generally, not all seats are reserved, so if you get there early you can usually find a spot. Standing places are limited, as the square is not closed. Of course, if you are late you will be standing far away from the pope.
In winter, or in bad weather, the audience is held in the Aula Paolo VI. Only 12,000 people can attend here. A little more than half of these can be seated. It can be crowded, so advance reservations are recommended.
Get your tickets through at the Vatican itself
Tickets for the audience are free. The easiest way to get them is from the Swiss Guards at the “Bronze Doors”, between 3 and 7 PM the day before the event. In general you do not need a reservation for this. You will find them at the end of the right colonnade, after security. You can only do this if your group is smaller than 10 people. (In theory you can also go between 7 and 8.30 AM on the day itself, but there might be no tickets left.)
If you wish to reserve tickets in advance you must send a request via fax or snail mail (but NOT via email) to the Prefecture of the Papal Household – 00120 Città del Vaticano (Fax: +39 06 6988 5863). Click on the icon below for the form you need to fill out.
Through the Church of Santa Susanna
There are several ways to contact the Santa Susanna church, but the easiest one is by visiting their homepage and booking tickets for the Papal Audience. You can also send a fax to the number: +39 06/42014328.
For those who don’t feel like reading Santa Susanna‘s guidelines, here are the main points in a nutshell:
- Booking a papal Audience through the Santa Susanna church is free. A donation is appreciated, though.
- You need to book at least 2 weeks in advance. Because of the great number of requests Santa Susanna may not find the time to send you a confirmation, but you may count on the reservation having been made. You can call Santa Susanna to make sure whether or not your e-mail or fax has arrived, but this is not appreciated.
- Santa Susanna does not receive the tickets until the day before the audience. You need to come and collect them yourself, between the hours of 5 and 6.30pm. The address is Via XX Settembre, 15. Tickets that have not been picked up at 6.30pm will be given away.
- Newly weds (sposi novelli) get special seats. In order to qualify as newly weds the marriage must have taken place at the earliest 8 weeks before the date of the audience. The wedding act must be shown at the entrance. You are not required to wear your wedding attire, but if you don’t you will not be seated in the special section.