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Top three things to do in Rome

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Rome remains one of the top places to visit in Europe for its culture, heritage and history.

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Here are three top things to do in Rome:

1.Visit the Vatican and the Pope: As for checking out living VIPs, I have found there is almost no one — Catholic or otherwise — who doesn't get a thrill out of seeing Pope Francis in person. Check with your hotel concierge for details or visit the website at www.vatican.va.

On Wednesday morning, the weekly general audience, which is either in the Square or inside the Pope Paul VI auditorium. Tickets are required for the latter, but if you ask the Swiss Guard at the Vatican's Bronze Door entrance at around 9 a.m., he'll slide you the tickets. In any case, best to bring binoculars.

2. Throughout Rome, gelato is found everywhere. Instead of second guessing, head to the famous Giolitti, nestled between the Pantheon and the Italian Parliament. Ask for up to three flavors on a medium cone to go, or sit down at a streetside table and savor every moment. Be adventuresome and sample bacio, pistachio and nocciola for a creamy, nutty, chocolate-touched delight. Or ask for recommendations from the staff, it will bring a unexpected surprise to your taste buds.

3.If you are not Catholic, you probably have a Catholic friend or colleague. Either way, you can bring them back a rosary blessed by the Pope; there are specialty shops near the Vatican that offer "certified" papal-blessed items. But why not do it yourself? In addition to rosaries, you can get a blessing for a cross or a Bible or any other object of religious devotion. Just bring your gift to the Sunday or Wednesday papal appearances at the Vatican and hold up your goods when the pontiff blesses the crowd. Technically, you may get blessings only for items that would help you with your faith (no T-shirts, or designer scarves or bottles of olive oil).

Websites:

www.vatican.va.

www.papalaudience.org/tickets

www.giolitti.it

www.vaticangift.com

Follow Mary Jeneverre on Twitter @Jeneverre. Thank you for your support.

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