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Rome unveils major plans for Jubilee 2025

Rome mayor presents Jubilee 2025 projects.

Rome has unveiled dozens of major infrastructural projects to be carried out ahead of the Vatican's Jubilee Year 2025 when millions of pilgrims are set to arrive in the Italian capital.

The city's mayor Roberto Gualtieri, who is also Italy's extraordinary commissioner for the Jubilee, presented the first phase of the plans to Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican on Thursday.

Later that day Gualtieri outlined the Giubileo 2025 plans at a news conference at Palazzo Chigi alongside Alfonso Mantovano, the undersecretary to Italy's prime minister.

The 87 "essential" projects will cost €2.3 billion, allocated as part of a government decree to allow the public works to get underway in time for the major religious event.

The total funding for the Jubilee projects is set to rise to €4 billion with the passing of a second government decree, according to Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops' conference.

The projects, set to be completed by December 2024, include the construction of underground carparks, pedestrian corridors and underpasses in the Vatican area, and the redevelopment of the area around the city's central Termini station.

Other maintenance and infrastructure works to be carried out include resurfacing roads and pavements, boosting public transport, improving street lighting and enhancing public toilet facilities.

"Rome is ready to seize this exceptional opportunity", said Gualtieri who prior to his election identified Jubilee preparations as an important priority for the capital, along with its bid to host Expo 2030.

"Rome and the whole of Italy are preparing to celebrate an event that is inextricably linked to the identity of the Eternal City itself, which is the capital of Christianity and hosts the Vatican City State", said premier Giorgia Meloni.

"There's lots of work to do" - Meloni said - "but we will guarantee all the collaboration and effort needed, together with the Holy See and the city of Rome, to make sure that the capital and the nation are ready to host millions of pilgrims from all over the world".

Traditionally a jubilee year results in a major influx of visitors to Rome resulting in the need for the city, the Catholic Church and the Lazio region to pool resources, with priorities including health, transport, security, civil protection, tourism and hospitality.

Commentators suggest that the infrastructure and enhanced services being put in place ahead of Jubilee Year 2025 could prove pivotal in helping Rome win its bid to host Expo 2030.

What is the Jubilee Year?

Vatican jubilees take place every 25 years and are designed as a "special year of grace, in which the Church offers the faithful the possibility of obtaining a plenary indulgence", according to Vatican News.

There was an "extraordinary" Holy Year of Mercy in 2015, at the surprise behest of Pope Francis, while the last ordinary jubilee was in the millennium year of 2000 when around 25 million pilgrims and tourists thronged the capital.

The pope marks the event by opening the Holy Doors at St Peter's as well as the other papal basilicas of S. Giovanni in Laterano, S. Paolo fuori le Mura and S. Maria Maggiore.

Traditionally the Jubilee begins just before Christmas and ends on the Epiphany of the following year, according to Vatican News, with the doors remaining open until the end of the holy year.

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