Monday, July 13, 2009

Off to the Hills

Sure, it's technically been the case for close to a month now, but at the Vatican, summer began earlier today as the Pope skipped Rome for his lone true holiday: a fortnight at Les Combes d'Introd, located in the Valle d'Aosta at Italy's extreme northwest corner.

Les Combes was B16's choice for his first summer holiday following his 2005 election; beside the baseball cap and quilted jacket the new pontiff sported during a mountain stroll on the trip (left), the vacation is best remembered as the first instance of the "Ask the Pope" sessions that've invariably made headlines since, serving as Benedict's most revealing means of interaction with groups ranging from First Communicants to Rome's clergy and young people.

Their highland stay slated to run through 29 July, Ratzinger & Co. will head to the papal summer villa, Castel Gandolfo, at its close. From there, Benedict's custom has been to stay in the Alban Hills until the end of September.

PHOTO: Catholic Press Photo/File