Pope tours

Pope Francis used to pick up La Nacion newspaper every day at a kiosk across from the city’s cathedral. Each edition was bound by a rubber band.

But then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, being frugal, would save the rubber bands and return them in a ball at the end of every month.

Guide Javier Cortese offered the anecdote while leading tours around central Buenos Aires, where the local government and private companies alike have capitalised on the popularity of Pope Francis.

Tour guides now take tourists to the most notable and mundane points — from his neighbourhood parish to the newspaper stand – visited by the pope during his life in Buenos Aires.

Cortese said the tours are nothing out of the ordinary, given the excitement in Buenos Aires over Pope Francis’ unexpected election.

The idea for the tours “was hatched the same day” of the March 2013 election, he said.

The Buenos Aires government was quick to embrace Pope Francis’ election; it investigated his past and put plaques at places like his childhood home.

Despite the early excitement, the tours in Buenos Aires may be running their course and, at some places, bring more bother than benefits. Continue reading.

Image: Javier Cortese, centre, leads tours of sites important or notable during the life of Pope Francis CNS/David Agren

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