ROME: Pope Francis, a classical music lover, slipped out of the Vatican on Tuesday evening to visit old friends who run a record store in Rome and eventually got a CD as a gift.
The visit was to be kept secret, but Javier Martinez-Brucal, a reporter for the television news agency Roma Reports, stumbled across the area and filmed what happened with his smartphone and posted it on Twitter.
Francis stayed inside the Stereo Sound record store, located near the ancient Pantheon, for a little more than 10 minutes. A Vatican spokesman said Pope Francis went to the store to bless it after it was recently renovated.
Martinez Brocal said the shop’s owners told him they became friends with the pope years ago when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was Archbishop of Buenos Aires before he became pope.
The Pope visited their shop to buy records and CDs of classical music while in Rome on a church mission and stayed in a nearby house to visit a group of clergy.
The shop owners added that they gave the Pope a CD containing classical music, but they refused to go into further details. The Pope is known for his love of Beethoven, Mozart and Bach – and even the tango for which his country, Argentina, is famous.
The video clip showed the Pope, avoiding bulletproof cars, leaving the shop and rolling into a simple white Fiat 500 with Vatican plates.
This 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 an optometrist in Rome.
The glasses were to be delivered at the Vatican, but he decided to go himself to get them.