TODAY

TODAY   |  February 27, 2013

Inside Castel Gandolfo, pope’s summer residence

When Pope Benedict XVI steps down, he will head to the sleepy town of Castel Gandolfo, used by popes as a quiet sanctuary for 400 years, where he will await the completion of construction on his new home. NBC’s Savannah Guthrie reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> is in his final hours as leader of the catholic church . when he officially resigns tomorrow he will take a helicopter from here to the pope's summer residence, castel gandolfo where he will begin his new life as the first retired pontiff in centuries. in the sleepy town of castel gandolfo , perched upon a scenic lake, the pope's summer residence. it's larger than the entire vatican itself.

>> of course, it has a local population and they love the pope and, in fact, as it turns out, they're going to be the last people to see him before he resigns. he is going to greet them from his window at his villa.

>> for 400 years, popes have used this spot as a quiet sanctuary and the occasional state visit . until recently, the area also provided a unique intersection between science and religion , nearly a dozen astronomers once use this had papal observatory to study the skies. his swiss guards , normally charged with protecting the pope, will officially be replaced by regular vatican police . benedict will stay here for about two months until renovations are complete on his future permanent home, just a few hundred yards from the papal palace . latin for mother of the church , it was once a vatican convent.

>> he will be with the same people he was living with before in terms of security and privacy. he will have and be able to walk in the gardens, which is another thing that he did and has done up until now.

>> renovations to the convent began last fall before the world knew why, mostly to make space for benedict 's large, personal library. the talented musician will also move his beloved piano to his new home but everything else, from the furniture to the art, will be passed on to his successor, as it has been for centuries. another custom associated with every change in church leadership, benedict 's papal gold ring, known as the fisherman's ring and the pontifical seal given to every pope will be destroyed once he abdicates. what about the personal struggle since they will share the same personal secretary?

>> retire to him really remains retire. if he wanted to hold on to power he would have remained as pope. nothing he loves more than prayer, reading, study and i think that's exactly what he's going to do.

>> how will the retired pope pay for things? according to reports, he does qualify for a small pension, but the vatican is expected to pay for most of his expenses, guys.

>> let's talk a little bit, if we can kind of fast forward till tomorrow, savannah. a lot of events on his last day as the pope. what are we expecting schedulewise?

>> it will be a day of circumstance, pomp and circumstance , a lot of sar moceremony. he will have a private audience with the cardinals, who now have all come here to say their good-byes and ultimately hold a conclave to elect the next pope. he will talk to them, greet them individually, it is expected. and then he will walk out into the courtyard, be sent off and take a helicopter to castel gandolfo which, of course, we've just been talking about. this is a pope ready to retire to the private life . he has spent his life as a scholar, theologian, professor, somebody who feels more at home with his library books more than he ever really did with the public eye . he talked about that this morning with his public audience. at 8:00 local time he officially become becomes pope emeritus.

>>> coming up next from here, donald and ivanka trump live