You don’t have to be Catholic to know that the Vatican is about to select a new Pope. This is the most palpable (forgive the pun) time to visit the Eternal City, so much so a cardinal was quoted in a local newspaper as saying, “In this city I love the pasta, the people and the Pope.”
If you want to experience Rome in all its glory check out this deal from TourCrafters with rates starting at $402 a day for a five night a six day Rome & the Papal Election package that is valid from now through to April 30, 2013. The package includes hotel accommodation (there’s a choice of 3- to 5-star hotels), five buffet breakfasts, a 48-hour Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus ticket, a 50 euro coupon for a gourmet restaurant, a free gelato in an historic gelateria, a free aperitivo at Terrazza Caffarelli with the best view of ancient Rome, and a 5% discount on optional arrival and departure transfers
Though the Sistine Chapel will be closed, you can get a first-hand view (while the rest of the world watches TV) of the beautiful paintings, sculptures, buildings and public spaces that Renaissance and Baroque artists created in the theater of power and glory that is the Vatican. The Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus stops at the Vatican, as well as other major sites such as the Coliseum, Piazza Navona, Ara Pacis, Via Veneto, Santa Maria Maggiore and even Piazza Venezia, the opening scene of Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love.”
Hotels chosen, for the package, range from the comfortable 3-star Hotel Brasile ($402 in March, $589 in April) and the deluxe 4-star River Palace ($835 in March and April) to the luxurious Hotel St. George ($1,235 in March, $1,465 in April). There’s a choice of restaurants, too: the casual Taverna Urbana offers typical Roman-Jewish cuisine with homemade pasta and the famous Carciofi alla Giudia (fried artichokes), while the romantic Il Drappo is known for Sardinian-style fish and lobster and the tasty porceddu (roast piglet).
All prices quoted are per person, double occupancy, are subject to availability and do not include city taxes, which must be paid directly to the hotel in euros. For more information about the Rome & Papal Election package, visit www.tourcrafters.it/tour.lasso?ID=175. For reservations, call 800-482-5995.