Rome is already bracing for the impact of the many pilgrims who will converge on St. Peter's for the May 1 beatification of Pope John Paul II.
Sleeping space in religious communities across the city - around 15,000 beds - was booked up within a day of the Jan. 14 announcement.
The Domus Aurelia hotel run by the Emmanuel Community has been reserved "since literally two minutes after the announcement," said Lorenzo Amico, who was working the hotel desk at the time. The hotel is located a short way from St. Peter's on foot
Two large groups made the reservations, filling the facility to capacity for an entire week.
"We've received calls continuously since then," Amico told CNA during a Jan. 31 phone conversation. "Even though the entire area is completely full, they keep on calling."
Rooms in hotels around the Vatican were snatched up quickly and those vacancies that remain are in establishments further from St. Peter's. They are priced at more than double - and even triple - normal rates, according to local media reports.