Venice – Pope Benedict XVI is due in Venice for a two-day pastoral visit that will include an appearance at St Mark’s Square and a visit to a medieval basilica.
The 27-hour visit, taking place under tight security, is the first by a pope to Venice since John Paul II visited the lagoon city in 1985.
Earlier, the pope will stop in Aquileia, the site of an ancient Roman port city east of Venice. Aquileia’s centre was blocked off ahead of the pontiff’s arrival today.
Benedict will meet bishops in a Medieval basilica which once held sway over a vast area.
Later the pope will greet the masses in Venice’s St. Mark’s Square. Tomorrow, he will hold an open-air mass.