Rome hotel rates soar for May beatification of John Paul II

ROME Hotel prices have skyrocketed in Rome for the May 1 beatification ceremony for John Paul II, with some 2-star hotels asking €330 per night and many 4-star properties near Vatican City charging well above €850.

An estimated 2.5 million pilgrims are expected to flock to Rome for the event, which will be led by Pope Benedict XVI in St Peter’s Square.

“Since the beatification announcement, bookings have exploded,” Giuseppe Roscioli, head of Federalberghi Roma, tells Agence France-Presse. Federalberghi Roma represents about 500 hotels, including roughly 60% of the city’s 150,000 beds.

The May 1 date coincides with a public holiday in much of Europe and falls during Italy’s peak tourism season.