Italian mountain retreat visited by popes up for sale

MILAN — An Alpine chalet near the French border where Pope John Paul II and his successor Pope Benedict XVI spent some summer vacations is up for sale.

The news agency ANSA reported Saturday that the Salesian order that owns the chalet is selling the property in the mountain hamlet of Les Combes, in Valle d'Aosta, because of difficulties in managing it.

A life-long mountaineer, John Paul spent about 10 summer holidays at the retreat, situated at an altitude of 1,300 meters (4,265 feet), while Benedict went there just twice. It was there that the German-born pope fell and broke his wrist in 2009.

An online advertisement to rent the property, described as "the alpine sojourn of John Paul II," says it has 124 beds, 22 bathrooms, and offers "unequal views."

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