Timing of Vatican closure for Papal Conclave question

Does anyone know when will the Vatican close to visitors in preparation for the papal conclave to elect a new Pope?

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2174 posts

Apparently they want to elect a new pope before Easter, if that gives any indication.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5738 posts

Well, Benedict's resignation takes effect 2/28 so they've got plenty of notice to set up a conclave starting no later than that. Easter falls on March 31, and I can't imagine it would take them an entire month to come up with a new pope.

Posted by carmen
alexandria, va, usa
31 posts

Hi Edwin? You mean they close the whole city?? oh my family is going this May..but if they elect by Easter which they say they will I think we should be fine. When are you going?

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5738 posts

Deep breaths, people. They don't close Vatican City. They will close the Sistine Chapel, because that's where the votes will be held.

Posted by Edwin
Arlington, VA, USA
248 posts

At some point they will close St. Peters, Sisitine Chapel and at least part of the Vatican Museums along with controlling traffic to allow the Cardinals in and out every day. I am looking for the amount of days they typically use to do the security sweeps and setup knowing that it will most likely have to be finished by March 1, 2013. I expect these sites to be limited access or closed off during the security sweep. Any experience on the lead time it takes would be appreciated.

Posted by Maam
Binan, Philippines
9 posts

Yikes, any information will be very helpful as my family will be in Rome Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Hope the new pope will be on beard before that.

Posted by donna
cranberry twp, PA, United States
2395 posts

The cardinals don't go through the museums to get into the Chapel. They have their own entrance. Other than the closing of the Chapel the museums should not be affected too much. As for the basilcia, it may be closed for a day or two to get set up but not much longer than that. Personally, with the crowds that will be there I wouldn't go near the place during the conclave. It's going to be a madhouse with people waiting to see the white smoke. There is no way to tell how long the process could take. It could be days, weeks or even longer. Donna

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2466 posts

I would say that for the first two weeks of March it would be wise to have restaurant reservations and to be prepared for transportation tangles. It would be difficult to imagine that, with this much lead time, it would take more than two weeks to elect a new pope (especially if the cardinals in lockup are denied food and water, as was done on at least one occasion).

Posted by Annabelle
Cooper city, Fl
1 posts

Hi, our family had a Vatican museum tour scheduled for 3/14 which was cancelled by the Vatican . They have cancelled all tours for the month of march and the museum,gardens and Sistine chapel are closed until further notice. They did say that St. Peter's MIGHT be open but they do not guarantee it. Now that the conclave has moved up I suspect it will not be open until the new pope is elected.

Posted by Laura
1 posts

My family and I are supposed to visit the Vatican on March 26. I emailed the Vatican Museums and asked them directly if our tour was canceled. They told me if our tour was canceled they would let us know immediately. We have heard nothing from them sense so I am assuming it is still on until we hear otherwise. This was about a week ago.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8741 posts

I haven't seen on the Vatican website that the Sistine Chapel or St Peters are closed at the moment. The Garden tours are cancelled on the website as of yesterday. I'll wander up there tomorrow and see if I have any trouble getting in St Peters. I'm going to the Obelisk to complete my visits to the main figures so I will have a look.