Benedict XVI decides against alpine summer vacation


According to a communique released by the Holy See on Friday, the Pope will not be returning to the northwestern province of Valle d'Aosta for his holiday this summer, but will instead retire to the Papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo closer to Rome.

The announcement conveyed the Holy Father's appreciation for various invitations that have been offered to him to escape to "alpine locations" this year and his gratitude to the bishops who have extended them.

For this year, the Vatican statement says, the Pope "prefers to begin right away the summer period of rest and study without the commitment of 'ulterior' transfers."

Specific dates for the Pope's summer vacation have not been announced, but they traditionally occupy at least two weeks in the month of July.

Since becoming Pope, the Holy Father has gone to the Alps or the Dolomites in northern Italy for his vacation time.

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