Pope Francis will visit Rome's Spanish Steps during national public holiday on 8 December.
On the feast of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday 8 December, Pope Francis will pay homage to the Virgin Mary by making a pilgrimage to Piazza Mignanelli near the Spanish Steps at 16.00.
In a tradition dating back to 1958, after kneeling in prayer the pope leaves a floral wreath which firemen then place on the statue of the Madonna in the square, in a ceremony usually attended by Rome's mayor.
As well as being a Catholic holy day it is a national Italian holiday, however many clothes shops will be open as the day is generally viewed as the official start of the Christmas shopping season.
The pope’s visit to the historic centre will result in a number of street closures and bus detours in the area around the Spanish Steps throughout the day.
Later that afternoon Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi is expected to illuminate the city's Christmas tree, popularly known as Spelacchio, in the central Piazza Venezia.
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Feast of Immaculate Conception in Rome
Piazza Mignanelli, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy