Roman vendors selling their different wares in and around Vatican City are praying for divine intervention not only for a new pope but for their respective businesses to likewise pick up in the days leading to the start and conclusion of this year's papal conclave.
Pizza stall owner Andrea Marotta recalled the last time they worked double time to serve their hungry customers was during the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005.
"We were working 24 hours a day, making pizzas as fast as we could," 23-year old Mr Marotta was quoted by Bloomberg. Their pizzas sell for €5 (AU$6.38; US$6.55) a piece.
Nowadays, it's different. Although there are already quite a few tourists curious and perhaps wanting to be part of this year's papal conclave, they still don't splurge.
"It's the crisis," Angela Bernardini, an owner of a souvenir shop, said. She noted that it was during John Paul II papacy that Rome's various souvenir shops were able to do good business.
She hoped, though, that business would pick up once a new pope has been elected and declared, noting she can produce within an hour mementos such as key chains and framed photographs within an hour.
While Rome's small-sized entrepreneurs still have to feel a surge in business from this year's papal conclave, hotel establishments are already raking it in.
Whereas the month of March is a lean season, Viscardo Scialanga, manager of Hotel Sant'Anna, said bookings are already full.
According to a study by the Monza and Brianza Chamber of Commerce cited by Bloomberg, the beatification of John Paul II in 2011 gave €190 million (AU$243 million; US$249 million) revenue for the city's hotels and restaurants, €30 million (AU$38 million; US$39 million) for public transportation channels such as the bus and the subway, and €15 million (AU$19 million; US$20 million) for the various retail outlets.
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