Up to five million people could travel to Rome for the April 27 canonisations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, and are expected to arrive beginning on Good Friday, April 18, reports the Catholic News Agency.
Rome will be a hot spot for tourism also because on April 25 Italy celebrates its liberation from Fascism, and is a national holiday. Many Italians will take advantage of the day off to spend the weekend in Rome, so pilgrims and tourists will be mixing during these days.
According to a source at Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi (the Vatican-affiliated pilgrim office), 'the number of pilgrims may be overestimated,' with it 'more likely that the pilgrims for the canonisations will be around 1.5 million persons.'
Rome is anyway considering how to avoid overcrowding, and access to St Peter’s Square. Maurizio Pucci, an official of the city, said there will be just 10,000 reserved seats for guests and dignitaries in the Square, while there will be 'free access, with no ticket needed, to the whole area which comprises St Peter’s Square, Piazza Pio XII, and Via della Conciliazione,' the road which runs from Castel Sant’Angelo into St Peter’s.
The area from Via della Conciliazione to St Peter’s Square can contain from 150-200,000, so 'jumbotrons will be installed in the big squares of Rome’s downtown … so that people can gather there and watch the celebration live,' he added.
FULL STORY Up to 5 million may go to Rome for Papal canonizations (CNA)