POPE Francis plans to drive around Vatican City at the wheel of a “popemobile” that is a lot like him: frugal, clad in white, and with a fair bit of mileage.
The 1984 Renault 4 economy car, with 186,000 miles on the clock, was given to him by a 70-year-old priest from northern Italy, Father Renzo Zocca, who took the Pope for a spin inside the walls of the tiny city-state.
“I think the Pope will drive it a bit himself inside the Vatican,” the Holy See’s deputy spokesman, Father Ciro Benedettini, said yesterday.
After the Pope appealed to priests several months ago not to drive expensive cars but to save money and give it to the poor, Fr Zocca wrote a letter to him, saying he had used the same car for decades and wanted to give it to the Pope as a symbolic gift.
Fr Zocca took it, along with some of his parishioners, to the Vatican, where the 76-year old Francis told his visitors he knew how to drive the marque because he had had a Renault 4 in his native Argentina.