JPII lookalike confuses tourists in Rome

 A man dressed as Blessed John Paul II has been confounding tourists on Via dei Fori Imperiali in recent days.

The Slovakian, who bears a striking resemblance to the late Polish pontiff, wears a white cassock and white zucchetto skullcap with a cross around his neck.

He told Rome daily newspaper Il Messaggero: "I play Papa Wojtyla because he was my pope, a great pope and many people still want to get a picture of him."

Known as "Paolo", the busker can be found in the Forum area between the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia.

Eight years after his death, JPII remains an extremely popular figure in Rome whose souvenir shops still sell postcards with his image.

Last year a statue of his likeness was unveiled outside Termini station while in April his successor Pope Francis blessed the newly-renamed Largo Giovanni Paolo II outside the Vicariate buildings in Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano.

Photo La Repubblica.