The Fabulous Life
With Benedict XVI away from the Vatican until late September, extensive renovation work is in full swing in the 16th-century papal apartments. Vatican officials have avoided giving out details of the restructuring and refurnishing which has been going on for over a month on the top floor of the grand Pontifical Palace which overlooks St Peter's .
But a few of the changes have leaked out. It is known for example that the papal study - the one with the window where popes traditionally stand to address crowds on Sundays - is now twice as big as it was during the pontificate of John Paul II. The adjacent study of Benedict's private secretary Don Georg Gaenswein has also reportedly been made more "comfortable", although it is unclear in what way....
There's a lot about Georg that's unclear in what way. But I digress....
Benedict took possession of the pope's official Vatican residence on April 30, four weeks after the death of his predecessor .
There was no time before his arrival to do anything more than repaint the bathroom and bedroom and take away the array of medical equipment and supplies which had been set up in one of the rooms as John Paul's death approached .
One of the few personal touches in the set of rooms will be a piano. A brand new one is on its way and will replace the old one that Ratzinger had in his former apartment in the nearby Borgo Pio street .
It is widely known that the pope not only likes listening to piano music, but he also loves to play the instrument - an activity which is said to soothe his nerves.
Play on, Ratz.... Tip to Papabile...