ROME – Perhaps it was inevitable that the most storied church in Christendom eventually would be flanked by a chapel to that other defining Western creed, consumerism. Fulfilling that bit of destiny, the Vatican opened its very own shopping mall on March 16, located immediately adjacent to St. Peter’s Square.
The idea behind the new 120,000 square foot “Caput Mundi” Mall, using a traditional saying about Rome as the “capital of the world,” is to appeal not only to the four million visitors who move through the Vatican every year, but also the 35 million tourists and pilgrims expected for the Jubilee Year in 2025.
Ironically, the mall is located in a space associated with the last great jubilee. It occupies the fifth and top floor of a massive parking garage on Rome’s Janiculum Hill built for the Jubilee Year of 2000, and has been in the works since 2020. The space was previously devoted to a coffee bar and cafeteria for the busloads of tourists and pilgrims who arrive in the parking structure.
Though it may seem ironic that the Vatican should be launching its own shopping mall under a pope who’s a stern critic of the excesses of capitalism, there are some distinctive “Pope Francis” touches, including an emphasis on sustainability and solidarity.
READ ON BELOW…Eyeing 2025 Jubilee, Vatican opens shopping mall just off St. Peter’s Square | Crux
Eyeing 2025 Jubilee, Vatican opens shopping mall just off St. Peter’s Square | Crux