Here’s how the city of Rome is preparing for the 2025 Jubilee Year

Rome Jubilee construction Construction projects are underway in Rome as the city prepares for the 2025 Jubilee Year. | Credit: EWTN News

Construction projects are underway in Rome as the city prepares for the 2025 Jubilee Year (Dec. 24, 2024, to Jan. 6, 2026). According to the city’s mayor, Roberto Gualtieri, the upcoming “Jubilee of Hope” is expected to draw in an additional 30 million to 35 million tourists to Italy during the Catholic holy year.

“The jubilee is an extraordinary global event with a great spiritual significance for which the city of Rome must be ready,” Gualtieri told EWTN News Vatican Bureau Chief Andreas Thonhauser. “We are working to make it more welcoming so that pilgrims can live the experience of the Jubilee in the best possible way.” 

The city of Rome’s online portal Roma Si Transforma currently lists approximately 358 planned projects in the Lazio region in which Rome is located. Each project is categorized as either a culture, innovation, inclusion, or sustainability intervention, with projects specifically funded for the jubilee including the 79.5-million-euro (about $86.4 million) Piazza Pia transformation and the 4-million-euro (about $4.3 million) Piazza Risorgimento redevelopment.

Construction projects are underway in Rome as the city prepares for the 2025 Jubilee Year. Credit: EWTN News
Construction projects are underway in Rome as the city prepares for the 2025 Jubilee Year. Credit: EWTN News

Next to Vatican City, the transformation of Piazza Pia into a more open and pedestrian-friendly square is close to halfway completed. It will connect Castel Sant’Angelo — a historic structure originally built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian but later used as a papal fortress — to St. Peter’s Square. 

“Piazza Pia will unite — in a kind of embrace — Castel Sant’Angelo, Via della Conciliazione, and St. Peter’s Square. Before, a highway passed through it, [but] I think it will become one of the most beautiful squares in the world,” Gualtieri said.

As the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums are two famous tourist attractions for visitors to Rome, Gualtieri explained that he has been closely collaborating with Archbishop Rino Fisichella, pro-prefect for the Section of New Evangelization of the Dicastery for Evangelization, and other Holy See representatives to support the crowds of pilgrims wanting to see the art collections and religious masterpieces contained within the walls of Vatican City.

“We had to work hard to imagine how to make Piazza Risorgimento more beautiful and make the arrival [of visitors] from the subway to the Vatican Museums more accessible,” Gualtieri explained. “[Archbishop] Fisichella is truly extraordinary in helping us always to find solutions. The whole Holy See is busy, starting with the Holy Father, [Cardinal Pietro] Parolin [Vatican secretary of state] and everyone else.”

The façade of the Basilica of St. John Lateran — one of four main papal basilicas in Rome that will have Holy Doors opened by the pope and remain open throughout the jubilee year — is under renovation in preparation for the millions of pilgrims expected to visit the city next year.

Besides the papal basilicas — St. Peter’s Basilica, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, and St. Paul Outside the Walls — there are also 12 “jubilee churches” in Rome to serve as places of gathering for pilgrims who wish to attend catechesis sessions on the year’s theme of “hope” or to receive the sacraments in varying languages.

According to Gualtieri, several local parishes spread across the city are also being refurbished ahead of the jubilee year to support the Catholic communities already living within Rome.

The city of Rome has also considered specific sites for the calendar events of the jubilee year in Rome and the wider Lazio region, which have the capacity to host hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.

Tor Vergata will hold the Jubilee of the Youth and World Youth Day festival and overnight vigil in mid-2025, while Centocelle Park will be the location of several Mass celebrations for various groups including the sick and health care workers, artists, and even the armed forces.

Gualtieri also told EWTN that pilgrimage routes, including the ancient Via Francigena — which extends from England to Italy — would also undergo restoration work to improve usability, safety, and accessibility for pilgrims.  

On May 9, the feast of the Ascension, Pope Francis officially proclaimed the 2025 Jubilee Year through a papal bull at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, indicating further guidelines on the special year of pilgrimage and grace for Catholics worldwide. 

Through the announcement, the Holy Father invited “pilgrims of hope” to “travel the ancient and more modern routes in order to experience the jubilee year to the full” and “above all by approaching the sacrament of reconciliation — the essential starting point of any true journey of conversion.”

More in Europe

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.