Pope Francis sets out his vision for the Jubilee Year

Pope Francis presided over a liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica on 9 May for the reading of the papal bull SPES NON CONFUNDIT. “Hope does not disappoint”, or official edict, that sets out his vision for the Jubilee Year- a year of hope.

The Jubilee, last held in the year 2000, the tradition, which dates back to 1300, will see 30 million people visit Rome for a series of events and celebrations. Finding affordable accommodation may need a miracle, says a leading travel expert.

With just a few breaks for events such as the Napoleonic Wars, the Jubilee has become one of the world’s oldest regular celebrations, far eclipsing traditions such as the modern Olympic Games, which only began in the year 1900.

Held every 25 years, the 2025 Jubilee will have the theme ‘Pilgrims of Hope’. Lily Smith, a leading travel expert from Monasteries.com, says: ‘Events to commemorate the Jubilee will be held throughout 2025, reaching a peak in May and June. It’s exciting news, but it is likely to create problems for people planning to visit Rome next year.

‘Our research indicates that more than 30 million visitors are likely to visit Rome for the celebrations. That’s 200% more than the 10 million visitors Rome normally receives and roughly eight times the city’s entire population. For that reason, hotel accommodation is going to be at an absolute premium, especially during the peak summer months.

‘It’s no surprise that many people planning to visit Rome are already thinking beyond hotels and traditional Italian “pensiones”. What could be more in keeping with such a momentous event than staying in a monastery or convent?

‘Many have breakfast and dining halls, communal spaces and – especially in Rome – rooftop terraces with stunning panoramic views. While some monasteries are more basic, many come fully equipped with modern amenities. All are far more budget-friendly than hotels or holiday lets.

‘Rome’s top-rated Casa il Rosario, for example, costs as little as €50 per night (in fact, there’s currently a room available for just €42.99 next May), compared to the €90 you would typically spend for a night in one of Rome’s hotels. There are three monastery guest houses offering accommodation to visitors within a ten-minute walk of the Vatican, and many others are sited near the basilicas that will be opened by the Pope for next year’s events.

‘It’s eternally difficult to find affordable accommodation in the Eternal City, but 2025 will see potentially record numbers of visitors. Staying in a monastery also enables people to become part of a community, regardless of whether they are religious. Common areas, such as dining rooms, offer ideal places to forge friendships and connections.

‘In the Roman Catholic Church, Jubilees are years of forgiveness of sins and reconciliation. Among the many special events next year to mark the ‘Pilgrims of Hope’ (Peregrinantes in Spem) theme will be a Jubilee of Children (24 May), Jubilee of Sport (14 June), Jubilee of Youth (28 July) and Jubilee of Choirs (21 November).

‘Accommodation in monasteries, convents and abbeys is widely available next year in Rome. Some people may be surprised that they welcome everyone but, remember, they have offered sanctuary to pilgrims and travellers for centuries, with a vow of “hospitality” a feature for many religious orders. That means monasteries, convents and abbeys are often more encompassing and friendly than an anonymous hotel.

‘Visitors to the Jubilee will be in good historical company. It’s thought the famous writer Dante (author of “Inferno”) visited Rome for Pope Boniface’s first Jubilee in the year 1300. For people wanting to learn more about the Jubilee, staying in monasteries, convents and abbeys and how to book, see: https://www.monasteries.com/en-GB/travelinspiration/where-to-stay-in-rome-for-jubilee-2025

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