Pope pays surprise visit to Rome record store and gets classic CD


ROME, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Classical music lover Pope Francis escaped the Vatican on Tuesday night to visit old friends who run a record store in Rome and left with a CD as a gift .

The visit was to remain private but Javier Martinez-Brocal, a reporter for the television news agency Rome Reports, happened to be around, filmed it with his smartphone and posted it on Twitter.

Francis stayed inside the StereoSound record store near the old Pantheon for just over 10 minutes. A Vatican spokesman said Francis went there to bless the shop as it had recently been renovated.

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Martinez-Brocal told Reuters the store owners told him they had become friends with the pope years ago when he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires.

A screen capture from video shows Pope Francis exiting a record store in Rome, Italy January 11, 2022. Video taken January 11, 2022. Rome Reports/Handout via REUTERS

He visited their store to purchase classical music records and CDs when in Rome on Church business and stayed at a nearby residence for visiting clerics.

They said they gave the pope a CD of classical music but declined to be more specific. Francis is known to love Beethoven, Mozart and Bach – and even the tango music of his native Argentina.

The video showed the pope dodging armored cars leaving the store and getting into a plain white Fiat 500 with Vatican license plates.

It was not the first time the pope had visited a store in Rome. In 2015, two years after his election, he ordered a new pair of glasses from a Roman optician.

They were to be delivered to the Vatican but he decided to pick them up himself.

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Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Sandra Maler

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