Benedict XVI Welcomed to Vacation Spot
Plans Time of Rest and Study
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LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy, JULY 9, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI received a warm and festive welcome as he arrived to the alps of northern Italy where he will spend some 17 days of vacation.
The Pope left this morning at 10:30 from the Roman airport of Ciampino for a one-hour flight to the Treviso-Istrana airport, in the Veneto region.
The Holy Father was received by Bishop Andrea Bruno Mazzocato of Treviso; Giancarlo Galan, the region's president; and other civil authorities, as well as a crowd of 2,000 people, Vatican Radio reported.
From the airport, the Pontiff took a helicopter to Lorenzago di Cadore. He will stay July 9-27 in a house owned by the Diocese of Treviso, located in the Dolomites, an Alpine mountain range.
Hundreds of residents turned out to welcome Benedict XVI, including many school children who accompanied Bishop Giuseppe Andrich of Belluno-Feltre and Mayor Mario Tremonti.
The Holy Father exchanged a few words with the children and with some journalists, who asked him if he had a particular plan for his vacation days, and if an encyclical would be in the works.
"We will see. Eventually," he said.
Salvatore Mazza, a reporter from the Italian daily Avvenire, interpreted the Pope's response as meaning that "in whatever case, as always, this will be a time of rest for him, but also a time of work, study and reflection."
The last time that a Pontiff vacationed in Lorenzago di Cadore was ten years ago when Pope John Paul II spent his holiday there.
Many consider the spot one of the most beautiful in the Alps. Walking paths have been prepared so that Benedict XVI can enjoy the area in tranquility.
Next Wednesday, on the feast of St. Benedict, in the parish church of Lorenzago di Cadore, there will be a concert held in the Pope's honor.