So, let's say you're the blogger/reporter that's supposed to cover the upcoming Papal Conclave in Vatican City.  Realizing that you won't be allowed inside St. Peter's Basilica for the actual proceedings, the best place you could be as the events unfold would be in Rome, right?

Except - there are no hotel rooms.  And the costs keep escalating.

Rocco Palmo, a Vatican blogger for the Philadelphia Inquirer recently made the decision to cancel his trip to Rome and stay home to cover the once-in-a-lifetime event.

Palmo... decided he couldn’t swing the costs, which he originally estimated at about $5,000, then bumped up to $8,000. Airfares are now through the roof, he said, and he doesn’t think he could make the trip work for less than five figures. “It’s not gonna make me any smarter going over,” he said, “but even trying will make me a hell of a lot poorer.”


Palmo also questioned the utility of covering the conclave on the scene: He expects cell phone service to be overwhelmed in St. Peter’s Square during the announcement of the new pope, and he may end up watching the big moment on TV in his room just so he can file.

As of this point, the start date for the Conclave has not been decided yet.


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