Pope Francis lets the world into his bedroom

  • 24/10/2016
Pope Francis lets the world into his bedroom

Pope Francis says he's trying to make the Roman Catholic Church more accessible to the people.

So for the first time, tourists are being allowed to visit the most private rooms of his summer residence.

Popes have looked out at the same view for centuries, but this is the first time the rest of us could look back in.

Francis - the "people's Pope" - declared his private apartment should be public, so we could all see where Popes would potter about, or pray.

Inside, you can see the office of the personal valet - a sort of "butler" to the Pope - and where the Pope's secretary sits. Inside is also the Pope's office, and his desk.

Castel Gandolfo, perched above Lake Albano, has a bigger footprint than Vatican City itself and is used as a summer escape. But Francis never spent the night there.

In 2014, he opened some rooms to the public, but his private apartment had remained off-limits, explained Sandro Barbagallo, who is in charge of running the place.

"Yes, [I was] very surprised," he says. "I knew the public part of this palace well, but I promise you, even I never entered the private apartments. It was always under lock and key, and the keys were kept in Rome."

The most private of rooms - the Pope's bedroom - is remarkably simple for a Pope.

"Yes, it's very small and very modest," says Mr Barbagallo. "We are, after all, talking about a priest."

During World War II a previous Pope opened Castel Gandolfo as a sort of shelter for those displaced by Nazi shelling in then-occupied Italy.

This modern-day pontiff has tried to bring the Church closer to the people, now letting them right into his bedroom.

CBS News