How to get tickets for Papal Audiences and Masses:
To attend a Papal Mass or the Wednesday general audience, visitors to Rome need to have tickets, which are free. Visitors should remember that there is a strictly enforced dress code for entering St. Peter’s Basilica – shoulders must be covered, shorts are not allowed and skirts should reach the knees.
Visitors to Rome should write directly to the Vatican (The Prefecture of the Papal Household) for tickets. Letters should be addressed to: Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Prefect of the Pontifical Household, Vatican City 00120, Europe. The requests may also be faxed to the archbishop’s office: (00 39-06) 6988 5863
A written request with number of tickets required, names of those wishing to attend, and the date of the Audience or Liturgical Celebration should be submitted to the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household with as much notice as possible (at least 10 days in advance of the Audience/Mass). A downloadable form and other online information is available from the Prefecture page on the Vatican website here.
Tickets can be collected on the afternoon before the Audience or the Liturgical celebration (from 15.00 to 19.30) or on the morning of the Audience (from 8:00 to 10:30) from the ticket office at the Bronze Door (end of the right-hand colonnade in St. Peter’s Square).
The location of the general audience varies; they are held in St. Peter’s square, the Paul VI Hall (Aula Nervi), or in St Peter’s Basilica. During the summer, audiences may also be held at Castel Gandolfo, the pope’s summer residence (40 min outside Rome by car).
Should you be unable to get tickets for an audience, you can always attend the Sunday Angelus, held at noon in St. Peter’s Square and presided over by the Pope.
Please note that private audiences with the Pope are reserved for heads of state and other high-ranking officials.
The best guarantee for a good position is to arrive early and get a seat near one of the aisles where the pope may pass.
You can also follow the weekly General Audience live on Wednesdays at 10:15 am CET on internet, produced by the Vatican Television Center, and hear the most recent Angelus on the website of Vatican Radio.