Pope Francis receives Roberto Gualtieri, Mayor of Rome Pope Francis receives Roberto Gualtieri, Mayor of Rome  (VATICAN MEDIA Divisione Foto)

Mayor of Rome presents Pope with plan for 2025 Jubilee

The Mayor of Rome is received in audience by Pope Francis to illustrate and explain the government’s decree regarding architectural and organizational interventions in view of the 2025 Jubilee Year.

By Tiziana Campisi & Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis’ audience with Roberto Gualtieri, the Mayor of Rome, took place on Thursday morning under the banner of the 2025 Jubilee Year as the eternal city prepares to welcome increased numbers of pilgrims and tourists and strives to show itself at its best and live up to the spiritual significance of the Jubilee. 

Gualtieri’s hour-long meeting with the Pope on Thursday morning preceded the signing of a special Jubilee decree in Rome’s Chigi Palace, the seat of the Council of Ministers and the official residence of the Italian Prime Minister. 

The Pope and the Mayor 

The Mayor described his private audience with Pope Francis as "beautiful and touching". He told journalists it was an opportunity to speak about many things and discuss preparations for the upcoming Jubilee Year.

He said he illustrated the plan and highlighted details about the government decree that authorizes the launch and implementation of public works for the event.

"It was an honour to share the plan for the works that will be carried out for the 2025 Jubilee,” Gualtieri said, noting that “Rome reciprocates the affection of its bishop and thanks him for his tireless commitment to peace and towards the most fragile." 

He said the Holy Father expressed his love for Rome describing it as a unique city, and was interested to learn more about social policies and environmental challenges the city is facing.

"This Jubilee puts hope, as Pope Francis said, at the centre," the Mayor of Rome emphasised, adding that "the programme is the result of discussions and dialogue with the Holy See". 

"We have a great responsibility and at the same time it is an opportunity to carry out interventions that are in line with the spiritual message indicated by the Pope,” Gualtieri continued, explaining that he thus feels “doubly responsible, both towards the pilgrims and towards our city: to make it more modern inclusive and sustainable".

Pope Francis and Roberto Gualtieri
Pope Francis and Roberto Gualtieri

The city’s Jubilee plan

The government decree for the 2025 Jubilee foresees 87 interventions, amounting to over one billion euros. Of these, 32 are redevelopment and enhancement projects, 23 relate to accessibility and mobility, 8 are dedicated to hospitality and participation, and 24 to the environment and the territory, for a total of 1.8 billion euros. 

Added to this are a further 500 million euros tied to 335 interventions that have already been approved to receive ministerial development funds according to the "Caput Mundi" Plan. 

A total of around 4 billion euros will be spent on works for the Jubilee when one also accounts for those in a second decree that is in the pipeline.

All works should proceed according to a timetable that will have to be accounted for.

The objective is twofold: to offer the best possible welcome to the tens of millions of pilgrims who will travel to Rome, and at the same time make the city more accessible, sustainable and inclusive.

Gualtieri, who has also been appointed extraordinary commissioner for the Jubilee Year, released a statement in which he says all work will be in keeping with the message of hope, universal brotherhood and trust that Pope Francis places at the centre of the Jubilee. 

Rome's welcome of pilgrims

Government official Alfredo Mantovano emphasised that the Jubilee is an event of faith that is linked to a centuries-old tradition in our civilisation and that it is far from being a marginal event. 

During the signing of the decree on Thursday, he explained works are planned throughout the city. They include the redevelopment of the Square in front of the Basilica of St. John Lateran and the Piazza dei Cinquecento at Termini Train Station.

Mobility infrastructures will be upgraded and the extraordinary maintenance of roads is foreseen. Redevelopment and restoration will take place of cultural and urban heritage and complexes of high historical-architectural value. Places and buildings of historical interest and archaeological sites will be enhanced. Parks, gardens, villas and fountains will be cleaned up and restored, and cultural services will be updated and digitalized.

Areas around the Vatican will also be modernised, with the opening of a new subway station, the re-development of pedestrian routes and the restoration of Porta Angelica.

A youth hostel will be inaugurated on the grounds of Santa Maria della Pietà and other reception facilities will be opened.

Alongside the works aimed at upgrading the Jubilee sites, making the city more welcoming and enabling the major events to take place, the programme also invests in areas far from the centre and those most directly affected by pilgrimages.

The plan aims to offer the world a sign of how Rome and Italy are embracing the Jubilee message of hope and inclusion and are directly committed to promoting, welcoming and listening.

Gualtieri presents the Jubilee decree in Rome
Gualtieri presents the Jubilee decree in Rome

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13 January 2023, 17:29