See pictures from around Saint Peter's Square.
The dome of the Basilica is seen above the walls of the Vatican City. The Pontiff will hold his last weekly public audience on Wednesday before he retires the following day.
Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements.
A man walks through Saint Peter's Square in the early morning.
A priest stands next to St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy.
Metal doors bearing the Papal Seal at the entrance to the Vatican City.
Two nuns walk through The Colonnade of St Peter's Square.
The colonnade at the edge of Saint Peter's Square.
A couple study a street map as tourists sit on steps outside the Vatican Museum.
Television news crews work on a temporary gantry overlooking St Peter's Square ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's last public audience.
Police officers in dress uniform stand guard at the edge of Saint Peter's Square.
A member of the Pope's Swiss Guard gives directions to three nuns at the gates to St Paul's Basilica.
Members of the Swiss Guard stand at a vehicle entrance at the edge of Saint Peter's Square.
Two nuns buy postcards from a souvenir shop next to St Peter's Square.