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Vatican, Italian culture ministry sign accord on preservation and use of historic walkway

CWN - February 14, 2013

The Vatican has concluded an agreement with the Italian government on the use of the Passetto di Borgo, the covered walkway that runs from the Vatican to the Castel Sant’Angelo.

The agreement, negotiated by the Vatican with Italy’s culture ministry, confirms the interests of both parties in preserving the Passetto as a historical and cultural monument, and provides for the care of the half-mile walkway, public access, and accommodations for persons with disabilities.

The Passetto was used by Popes as a safe passage of retreat from the Vatican to the Castel Sant’Angelo during times when Rome was invaded. It was used most dramatically by Pope Clement VII during the sack of Rome in 1527, when the Pope reached safety although the Swiss Guard incurred heavy casualties in covering his retreat.

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