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Your Guide to Navigating Rome During the 2025 Jubilee: Tips for Expats and Visitors

Posted on July 2nd, 2024

by Adriana ruiz


The 2025 Jubilee is a significant Holy Year in the Catholic tradition, occurring once every 25 years. Here are the key points:

1. Theme: The official motto for the 2025 Jubilee is “Pilgrims of Hope.” Pope Francis emphasizes hope as a central theme, encouraging believers to experience grace through pilgrimages, indulgences, and living testimonies of faith.
2. Spiritual Significance: During the Jubilee, the Church offers the faithful the opportunity to obtain a plenary indulgence. Traditionally, it begins just before Christmas and ends on the Epiphany of the following year. The Pope inaugurates the Holy Year by opening the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica, followed by other papal basilicas.
▪ A central part of any jubilee is the Holy Doors. These doors, found at St. Peter’s Basilica and Rome’s other major basilicas, are sealed from the inside and only opened during a jubilee year.
3. Preparations in St. Peter’s Basilica:
▪ Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, oversees preparations. The Basilica aims to be a place for ‘pilgrims of hope’—offering spiritual nourishment, reconciliation, and prayer.
▪ Pilgrims from around the world are expected to visit, and plans include simplified access for prayer, sacraments, and guided tours.
▪ The Vatican and the city of Rome are expecting an estimated 35 million visitors during the Jubilee.

What Expats Can Expect:

1. Increased Pilgrims: Rome will see an influx of millions of pilgrims during the Jubilee. Expats should anticipate crowded areas, especially around religious sites.
2. Accommodation Challenges:
▪ Accommodation demand will surge. Expats should book well in advance.
▪ Consider alternative lodging options like short-term rentals or staying slightly outside the city center.
3. Cultural and Spiritual Experiences:
▪ Expats can participate in pilgrimages, attend special Masses, and witness religious ceremonies.
▪ Explore the rich history, art, and architecture of Vatican City.
4. Traffic and Crowds:
▪ Expect increased traffic and longer wait times at popular attractions.
▪ Plan travel accordingly and use public transportation.
▪ The busiest times will probably be the summer, holidays, and the opening and closing of the Holy Door.
5. Local Events and Festivities:
▪ Rome will host various events, concerts, and exhibitions related to the Jubilee.
▪ Keep an eye on local announcements for specific dates and venues.

Recommendations for Foreigners and Expats:

1. Learn About the Jubilee: Familiarize yourself with the significance of the Jubilee and its traditions.
2. Language Skills: Brush up on basic Italian phrases to navigate daily life.
3. Cultural Sensitivity: Respect local customs and religious practices.
4. Explore Beyond Vatican City: Rome has much more to offer—visit historical sites, museums, and local neighborhoods.
5. Stay Informed: Follow official updates on Jubilee events, the Vatican has launched the official Jubilee Calendar website and app. This platform provides daily updates and allows pilgrims to register for Jubilee events and the pilgrimage to the Holy Door, starting in September this year. Additionally, you can find additional information about Jubilee events and materials on the Vatican website or through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 

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