Sistine-Chapel Fiction

Other tour-guides continue to say the most amazing things…

This week, one of our guides was with some of our clients in the Sistine Chapel, and the Sistine Chapeloverheard yet another gem. A tourist asked his own tour-guide, “Does the Pope ever say Mass or do anything else liturgical in the Sistine Chapel?” It’s a pretty common question, and practically everybody in Rome knows the answer.

But not this poor guy’s tour-guide! Her eyes widened in confusion, and she muttered, “I’m not really su…” but then she caught herself. Regaining her composure, she declared loudly, “Yes. On 6 January of every year the Pope says Mass here.”

Um, not. The Pope does not celebrate Mass here any more, on 6 January (the Feast of the Epiphany) or any other day. He does, however, baptize children here on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is the Sunday following Epiphany. BIG DIFFERENCE.

This tour-guide was more interested in sounding authoritative, than in admitting that she couldn’t answer a question. So she spouted nonsense, and the poor tourist who paid her for a tour got false information.

We don’t claim to know the answer to every question–but if you do manage to stump us, we’ll readily admit it! It has happened more than once that a client of ours has asked a tricky question, and we’ve had to do some research on it. After that client had already flown home, we sent an email explaining what we had found out. We’re curious too–and we’d like to know the correct answer as much as you! Which sort of tour-guide would you rather have, on your visit to Rome?