Former Pope Benedict XVI has made a rare foray outside of his secluded Vatican residence, the Vatican confirmed on Friday.
The 92-year-old spent on Thursday afternoon and evening in the Castelli Romani area just outside Rome, Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni, said in a statement that backed up media reports.
Benedict visited the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, a Virgin Mary shrine in the town of Rocca di Papa and had dinner with the local bishop of Frascati, Bruni said.
The excursion took place amid a heatwave in Rome.
The retired pontiff lives in a monastery inside the Vatican grounds.
When he quit office in 2013, announcing the first papal resignation in almost 600 years, he pledged to “remain hidden to the world.’’