First look: Elder Bednar, Elder Rasband tour the Rome Italy Temple with journalists and political dignitaries

The doors to the Rome Italy Temple were opened on Monday, Jan. 14, to welcome the first wave of visitors and media from around the world. Monday marked the beginning of the public phase of the temple which will be open for nearly four weeks of open-house tours from Jan. 28 through Feb. 16, excluding Sundays.

"I've seen it under construction for two years now, but walking through it today was extraordinary, a very special experience," said Marcello De Vito, president of the Rome City Council in a Deseret News article detailing the event. "It will certainly improve the architecture of our city."

Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder David A. Bednar and Elder Ronald A. Rasband, were on site in Rome to lead journalists and political leaders like De Vito through the temple for the first time.

Noting the vast Church membership of 16 million worldwide, Elder Bednar told journalists that is it only a matter of time before The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has temples in almost every major city around the world. But he also noted that having a temple in Rome holds special significance for the Church.

Photos showing the exterior and interior of the new temple were posted Monday, Jan. 14, on the Church's websites. View the photos and learn more details about the temple open house here.

The interior of the Rome Italy Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The interior of the Rome Italy Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

The temple was announced in 2008 and has been under construction since 2010. The 40,000-square-foot temple stands three-stories tall and is surrounded by a 15-acre piazza with other buildings including a vistors' center displaying copies of the Christus statue and statues of the 12 original Apostles by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen.

Read more about the temple opening and the media tours.