I first saw this ad over on Connecticut Catholic Corner:
A Vatican apartment for rent on Craig’s List! Wait…. What?
In my mind, I saw it: that unused papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace. Remember how, when Pope Benedict left for the last time and flew by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo, the Swiss Guards came along and applied a heavy wax seal to the door? The apartment would remain vacant until the next Pope was elected….
Well, Pope Francis has never moved in. The furniture must be pretty dusty now, what with the months of disuse. The philodendron and schleffera must have long ago wilted and died.
So now, they’ve decided to rent it out?!
A little research on Google Maps proved that the apartment for rent isn’t really in the Vatican, at all. It’s on the Via Nicolo, which stretches out from the high walls of Vatican City (clearly zig-zagging through the streets), but it’s definitely in Rome. Actually, you can see from the map (below) that it’s within easy walking distance of St. Peter’s Basilica (that’s the Square at top); but it ain’t the Pope’s old digs.
In fact, Via Nicolo III is a popular bed-and-breakfast, and I’ve grabbed a screenshot of the front door. Breakfasts in Rome are marvelous– fette biscottate with cappucchino, muesli and yogurt, hardboiled eggs, perhaps cold cuts and macedonia (fruit salad).
Our apartment along the Via Aurelia at the time of the Vatican Blogfest was just a few blocks north of this place—so I know the neighborhood well. If you’re looking for a place to hang your hat during your visit to the Eternal City, this is a pretty good spot.