Pope Francis Pays Unannounced Visit to Favourite Record Store
20:52 GMT 14.01.2022 (Updated: 05:44 GMT 15.01.2022)
© AP Photo / Koji SasaharaПапа Франциск улыбается, готовясь к вылету в международном аэропорту Ханэда в Токио
© AP Photo / Koji Sasahara
Pope Francis paid an unannounced visit to a record store he used to frequent prior to becoming the pontiff in charge of the global Catholic community. He reportedly slipped out of the Vatican on Tuesday night to visit the newly-renovated shop Stereo Sound, located near the Pantheon.
The pope's white Fiat 500 and police detail quickly drew the attention of Javier Martinez-Brocal, a reporter and director of the news agency Rome Reports, who managed to film him leaving the store.
The pontiff later made a note to the reporter, writing, "I won't deny that it was (bad luck) that after taking all the precautions, there was a journalist waiting for someone on the taxi line. [But] you can't lose your sense of humour".
Francis expressed his regret at being unable to go into public spaces unnoticed, a privilege that disappeared when he became the head of the Catholic Church in 2013. He relayed that what he misses most about his pre-pope life is being able to take walks freely in Buenos Aires, where he was archbishop and then cardinal.
At the time, the then-cardinal would take public transport around the Argentine capital, as opposed to the private cars used by other cardinals.
Martinez-Brocal was apologetic in a note he wrote to the pontiff after the meeting, explaining he was not a paparazzo and felt regret that Francis cannot move about town freely, but that the story provided a much-needed happy tidbit in a world which often feels inundated by bad news.
The store owners explained that the pope was a long-standing customer, frequenting the place during during trips to the Vatican before his 2013 election as pontiff.
"He didn't come to buy any records. He just came to bless the store. He's been a customer of ours for a long time and he came to see us", Tiziana Esposito, the store owner's daughter, told Rome Reports.
While the pope did not buy anything, he was given a box of classical CDs by the store as a gift, according to Rome Reports. Classical music is said to be his favourite.