Take the Pope Francis tour of Buenos Aires and be pontiff for a day

A guided tour of biblical proportions

By Katie McDonough

Published May 16, 2013 9:17PM (EDT)

  (AP/Gregorio Borgia)
(AP/Gregorio Borgia)

Forget the "Sex in the City" bus tour of New York City (Magnolia Bakery is not that great, really); the hot new trend in travel is all about Pope Francis!

No, the new pontiff will not personally be directing you around his old stomping grounds in Buenos Aires, but you can walk where he once walked, sit where he once sat, oppose gay rights where he once opposed gay rights, undermine women's access to basic health care where he once undermined women's access to basic health care, etc ad infinitum, as the Associated Press reports:

The tour bus is a single-story cruiser with sealed windows above a huge image on each side of Francis and the words "Pope Circuit" in papal yellow, which also happens to be the official color of the metropolitan government that began offering the tours last weekend.

For three hours, the bus winds through Buenos Aires twice each Saturday and Sunday and can carry about 40 passengers, rolling past 24 sites linked to the new pope, but stopping only twice and leaving little opportunity for snapshots. There's no charge for the trip, or for more limited walking tours of downtown and neighborhood sites offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays...

The tour ends at the Plaza de Mayo, which is fronted by the cathedral and the office building where Bergoglio lived alone in a humble room, shunning an ornate diocesan mansion in a northern suburb.

The tour has only been running for a week, but the reviews are in and it's a total hit! "I loved the tour... It's to live the history of Bergoglio, of his family, and I also visited his neighborhood, which I had never seen," Alicia Perez, a 71-year-old woman told the Associated Press after completing the inaugural bus ride.


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Abortion Argentina Bus Tours Catholic Church Gay Rights Pope Francis Religion