We are planning a trip to Italy from April 17-24. We heard a rumor that the Pope's election was happening on the 19th. We thought it was happening before Easter. Does anyone know for sure? Assuming it is happening on the 19th. We can either do the Vatican as a half day on the 17th or 18th, or on 23rd. We were planning on going on the 18th, but if the election is happening on the 18th, that it would either be closed or extremely crowded. What do you think would be the best time to go?
No one knows when the new Pope will be elected. However, the conclave starts this coming Tuesday. It will last until a new Pope is elected. Whatever you heard about April is wrong.
It would be difficult to imagine Holy Week and Easter Sunday without a pope. Rumors? There are hundreds, but even more grains of salt.
The old pope was elected on 19th April, perhaps some "chinese whispers" is where this rumour comes from? Anyway, nobody knows but it has been a long time since it took more than a few days. Ladbrokes are offeirng the lowest odds on there being four rounds of voting (4/1 if you're interested, compared to 16/1 for it taking 10 rounds), so if they are right it would all be over before the end of the coming week. Obviously they have no idea either, and are going by history.
It's doubtful that the process of electing a new pope will take 5 weeks. Anyway it goes, your trip is April 17th.
Just go into Rome and roll with the flow. It's all going to work out fine.