Pope Benedict XVI, the first pontiff in 600 years to resign, has left Vatican City for scenic Castel Gandolfo in the hills south of Rome, where he has spent his summer vacations reading and writing. To a roaring cheer, Benedict appeared at the balcony of the palazzo and said he was happy to be "surrounded by the beauty of creation."
Here is a look at photos of Benedict's final moments as leader and the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo.
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