Photo: Ugo A. Orego | Church of Jesus Christ TemplesIf you fancy a trip to Italy this winter, you could do worse than spending a few hours touring The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ longest-standing temple project, in Rome.

As we learned nearly a year ago, the Rome Italy Temple’s open house will take place from January 28, 2019 to February 16, 2019, allowing the general public to tour the grounds and interior of what is sure to be one of the most distinctive buildings in a city and country packed to the brim with notable architecture and history. As of last week, open house tickets are now available.

The temple will serve approximately 30,000 members from 11 stakes and one district across Italy, Albania, Malta, and Romania. (Sorry, Corsica, you are not part of the fun!) The inclusion of Romania but not other nearby Balkan nations is interesting. The Ljubljana Slovenia and Zagreb Croatia districts will continue as part of the Frankfurt Germany Temple district despite geographic proximity to Italy. Saints in Serbia and Bulgaria will remain assigned to the Freiberg Germany Temple. Presumably, Latter-day Saints in Moldova, a Romanian-speaking country with Russian leanings because it was part of the Soviet Union, will remain within the Kyiv Ukraine Temple district.

Our best guess as to why Romania is joining the fun in Italy is linguistic. Romanian is a Romance language, more closely related to Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and Occitan than its Slavic and Magyar neighbors. While Romanians emigrate globally, as of 2016, approximately 39 percent of them opted for Italy and Spain.

So that’s just a guess. You can visit nearly any temple and ask for a headset to conduct temple work in nearly any language, but tying the Romanians to Italy might be more efficacious.

President Thomas S. Monson announced the Rome Italy Temple way back in 2010, and construction formally broke ground later that year. However, he sacred edifice has faced numerous construction woes and false starts before finally receiving its Angel Moroni statue in 2017.

Great job, Italy. Do it for Vicenzo!

You can get tickets by following this link. Ignore the Italian and scroll to the bottom to find information in English.