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Little-known cafe above St Peter's Basilica

Italy's Il Giornale newspaper has highlighted the existence of a cafe - a typical Italian establishment called a 'bar' that also serves gelato - perched on the roof of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

Adding to the mystery were conflicting reports: Il Giornale said it had opened within the past few weeks, while the ANSA news agency said it had been renovated in recent months. Several employees at St. Peter's said they did not even know it existed.

The coffee bar is accessible only to tourists who have already paid to go up to the dome. It is fairly rudimentary: The cafe is indoors and has no view of the skyline. Customers must stand at the counter, because there are no tables. A basic espresso is a bargain at $A1.23 - but unlike in most Italian bars, no alcohol is served.

St. Peter's Basilica Has Little-Known Cafe (The Herald-Sun Durham North Carolina/Associated Press 22/12/04)

St Peter's Opens "Basilica Coffee Bar" (Reuters/ 21/12/04)

23 Dec 2004