VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2005 (VIS) - During an informal meeting with journalists at Les Combes, the locality in the Italian region of Valle d'Aosta where the Pope is spending his holiday, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarrro-Valls described Benedict XVI's vacation, which began on July 11 and will last until July 28, as "a real holiday, but a working holiday."
After celebrating Mass and eating breakfast the Holy Father reads the breviary before retiring to his room to write, said Navarro-Valls. "I would not say he is writing an Encyclical," said the Holy See spokesman, suggesting that perhaps the Holy Father is working on a book. In the afternoon the Pope usually takes a walk around the local area. On Saturday, returning home, he paused to greet some of the locals.
The Holy Father's chalet, the property of the Salesians, is the same one in which John Paul II used to stay. "Everything has remained as it was," said Navarro-Valls, save the piano which has been placed in the study. The Pope loves music and "over these days I have heard him play Mozart", the press office director added.
This evening, Benedict XVI visited a museum dedicated to John Paul II located some 500 meters from the chalet in which he is staying. The museum was inaugurated in 1996 and brings together personal objects used by John Paul II during his holidays in the alpine mountains. It also contains many photographs of the late Pontiff including pictures of him walking in the mountains wearing sports shoes and an alpine hat.
Before returning home, the Holy Father paused briefly in a small nearby hermitage, where he spent a few minutes in prayer.
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