I’ve talked before about the reasons to visit Italy in the Spring – but in addition to the reasons that would be true in any year, this year there’s a particularly special reason you might want to get to a city in the northwest of Italy. The famous Shroud of Turin, available for public viewing only five times in the past 100 years, is about to be unveiled for just over a month in 2010.
The Shroud of Turin – the cloth Jesus is said to have been buried in – is probably the most well-known attraction in the city of Turin (called Torino in Italian), and visitors who don’t happen to be in Turin during this rare unveiling of the actual shroud can visit the Shroud Museum where there’s a full-sized repilica on display. But for some a replica just won’t do, which is why the faithful have had 2010 marked on their calendars ever since the Shroud was last on display in 2000.
If you’ll be in northern Italy from April 10 through May 23, you can visit Turin and reserve a time to see the Shroud of Turin in person – but if you’ll only be in Italy for a short period of time during the exposition, you should definitely reserve your spots sooner rather than later. Some days are already booked solid (including most weekend days).
Although the Shroud is old, the technology involved in booking a visit to see the Shroud this year is absolutely modern, which has resulted in more than 1 million people already pre-booking their spots to see the Shroud in person via the online booking system. In 2000, pre-bookings were available – but not online, and only came in at around a quarter million.
To see what dates and times are left for a visit to see the Shroud of Turin, begin at this page of the Piedmont region’s website (this is the English page – you can change the language at the top if you wish), read the instructions, and follow the prompts – starting with the “Next” button at the bottom of the first page. A visit is roughly three minutes long, and completely free of charge.
As mentioned, weekend days are almost all booked up as I write this – but midweek days are much more open in terms of booking availability. This could be good for travelers for whom weekdays don’t mean “workdays” – and, at least at the moment, visiting on a weekday will definitely mean smaller crowds as well.
So, who’s going to Turin this Spring to see the Shroud?
Visitor’s Information for Seeing the Shroud of Turin in 2010
- The Shroud of Turin will be on display from April 10 through May 23, 2010
- The Shroud will be on display in the cathedral where it’s always kept, the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist (or Duomo of Turin)
- Pre-book your visit at the Piedmont Italia website
- The pre-booking and the visit itself are both free
- Your pre-booking confirmation will be sent to you via email
- Your entire visit will be 15 minutes long, your viewing time will be more like three minutes
- Pope Benedict XVI will be in Turin on May 2, 2010 as part of the Shroud exposition
- The Shroud is scheduled to be on display again in the Jubilee Year of 2025
- You’ll find visitor information, a map of the visitor’s route, and tips on how to reach the church at the Piedmont Italia site
photo by Jessica Spiegel and may not be used without permission