Castel Gandolfo

Police estimate 10,000 crowded into Castel Gandolfo for pope

Benedict begins retirement

Police estimate 10,000 crowded into Castel Gandolfo for pope

Castel Gandolfo, February 28 - Police say a crowd of at least 10,000 well-wishers and the faithful crowded into the main square area outside the pope's summer retreat Thursday to welcome Pope Benedict XVI as he begins his retirement. The town of Castel Gandolfo, located just south of Rome, can normally fit only half that number into its main square, the Piazza della Liberta. But many more spilled out from the square along its side streets, waiting to greet the 85-year-old pontiff as he arrived by helicopter from Vatican City late in the afternoon.

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