Benedict XVI to Depart for Northern Italy

Will Vacation at Seminary of Bressanone

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 27, 2008 ( Benedict XVI will return to mountainous region of Trentino-Alto Adige in northern Italy for two weeks of vacation in the city of Bressanone, where he had often vacationed prior to his election to the papacy.

From this Monday until Aug. 11, the Pope will lodge in his usual room in the seminary of Bressanone, a city of 20,000 inhabitants in the province of Bolzano. He has vacationed in Bressanone more than 10 times over the course of his life.

The Holy Father will stay in the bishop’s apartment, where a piano has been placed so that he can dedicate himself to one of his preferred activities.

During this period, the Pontiff is scheduled to hold just two public meetings: the praying of the midday Angelus on Aug. 3 and 10.

Benedict XVI plans on enjoying the company of his older brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, a priest and musician, who was a choir director at the cathedral of Regensburg, Germany.

The vacation will also provide the Pope an opportunity to make progress on documents and books that he is writing. It is rumored that he will use the time to work on a third encyclical and the second part of his book, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

When he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had long conversations with the journalist Vittorio Messori at the seminary of Bressanone, which became the best-selling book “The Ratzinger Report.”

During a stay at the seminary in 2000, the cardinal also wrote part of his book “Jesus of Nazareth,” which he published after his election to the pontificate.

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