Tattoos, lollipops and statues

If you think that the immense line of people waiting to pay their last respects to John Paul II is too much for you, you wont be joining the lines to buy commemorative souvenirs either. However, if you are a traditionalist searching for rosaries, picture postcards, candles and calendars, your best bet is to venture out of the centre towards S. Giovanni in Laterano. Once you enter the basilica, head for the very back where there is a little gift shop that sells anything and everything adorned with pictures of the late Pope, minus the crowds and congestion. Also further away from Vatican City, but still in the historic centre, La Palma Gelateria, near the Pantheon, is selling by far the most unusual souvenir of all, an oversized pastel lollipop with a colourful picture of the Pope plastered in the centre, waiting to be devoured. But if you are a true thrill seeker and enjoy dodging in and out of the crowds as well as the police, you can head for the shops in Borgo Pio, parallel to Via della Conciliazione. Souvenirs abound at these little shops as do the recently elevated prices. For those truly swept up in the moment and with their adrenalin running high, why not pop into Il Segno di Caino a tattoo parlour also in Borgo Pio. Brand yourself a souvenir truly unforgettable.