Castel Gandolfo, Italy - 21 February 2013: A view of the gardens of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo, Italy, on February 21 2013. The Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo comprise about 55 hectares (11 more than Vatican City) of which 30 make up a garden while 25 are used for farming.
On 11 February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI informed the cardinals gathered in Consistory that he had decided to resign the papacy, effective 28 February 2013. When he leaves the papacy at the end of the month, Benedict will retire to his summer home in Castel Gandolfo, in the hills outside Rome, before moving to the Mater Ecclesiae convent, a plain, four-story structure built 21 years ago to serve as an international place “for contemplative life within the walls of Vatican City,” as it is described on a Vatican Web site.
Gianni Cipriano for The New York Times
- ©2013 Gianni Cipriano
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