Pope Francis, a lover of classical music, made a surprise visit to the StereoSound record shop in Rome on Tuesday evening. A Vatican spokesman said Pope Francis had gone there to bless the shop because it had recently been renovated.
Javier Martinez-Brocal, a reporter for the Rome Reports television news agency, was in the area by chance when he noticed Pope Francis and filmed him leaving the record shop and getting into a white Fiat 500 with Vatican number plates.
The shop’s owners told Javier Martinez-Brocal that they had become friends with the pope years ago when he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, and he used to regularly visit the shop to buy classical CDs when he was in Rome on Church business and staying nearby.
The shop owner gave Pope Francis a classical CD
The shop owner gave Pope Francis a classical CD but declined to be more specific. Pope Francis is known to like Beethoven, Mozart and Bach – and even tango music from his native Argentina.
The family owned StereoSound record shop is located near the ancient Pantheon and specializes in a wide variety of music, particularly opera and classical, on vinyl and CD.
“The Holy Father is passionate about music”
Letizia Giostra, StereoSound’s owner, told the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera that Pope Francis’ surprise visit was “an immense thrill.” She added, “The Holy Father is passionate about music and was already our client, years ago, when he was still a cardinal and would pass through Rome. Then, of course, we never saw him again. And now he came to visit us, to say ‘hello’”.
A small crowd gathered outside the record shop while Pope Francis was inside for around 10 minutes.
Pope Francis loves music. His music library, curated by the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, includes nearly 2,000 CDs and 19 vinyl records Catholic News Service reported. Most of the library is classical but it also includes Édith Piaf, Argentine tango tunes, and a collection of Elvis Presley’s Gospel songs.
This was not the first time Pope Francis has been spotted visiting a Rome shop. In 2015 he was noticed going to an optician’s to change his glasses and the following year he went to a shop to buy some new orthopaedic shoes.