29 June is the feast of Rome’s patron saints Peter and Paul and a public holiday in the capital. Shops and offices are closed for the day, with services running on a holiday schedule. There are liturgical celebrations scheduled in many of the city’s churches including St Peter’s Basilica, where at 09.00 Pope Benedict XVI will confer the papal pallium, or white woollen stole, upon 44 metropolitan archbishops to symbolise the union between the successor of St Peter and the leaders of local churches. During the ceremony the Westminster Abbey Choir will sing with the Cappella Musicale Pontificia, the Sistine Chapel Choir, in a historic ecumenical event that will be broadcast around the world. It is the first time that the Sistine Chapel Choir has collaborated with another choir since it was founded over 500 years ago. The Westminster Abbey Choir will sing music from the English choral repertory including some from the English-language Anglican tradition. Planned celebrations at the Basilica di SS. Pietro e Paolo in Rome’s Ostiense district have led to some street closures and bus deviations in the area from 15.00 on 28 June until some stage on 30 June. For full details see www.agenziamobilita.roma.it. For the second year, the city’s Opera House in Piazza Beniamino Gigli opens its doors, with guided tours in Italian and English from 10.00 to 18.00. Visitors can observe the quartet and choir rehearse for "Toccata e Fuga, vacanze romane" prior to its 16 July performance on the Spanish Steps. Finally, later that evening the annual Girandola fireworks display, introduced in 1481, takes place above Castel Sant'Angelo at 21.30. The best places to view the show, which features a giant spinning Catherine Wheel, include Via Banco Spirito, Lungotevere Tor di Nona, Lungotevere Altoviti, and from the bridges of Vittorio Emanuele II, Principe Amedeo Savoia Aosta and Umberto I. Wanted in Rome wishes all its readers a buona festa.
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