Swiss Guard souvenirs

VATICAN CITY — Papal Swiss Guard fans no longer have to hop on a plane to come to Rome to stock up on pontifical paraphernalia — some of it is now available online.

Starting yesterday, the Pontifical Swiss Guard launched a new Web site where fans can stock up on memorabilia, souvenirs, and assorted collectibles.

Ties, baseball caps, polo shirts, even elegant watches emblazoned with a colorful guard or the corps’ jubilee logo can be purchased by credit card over the Web. Informative books and DVD’s about their 500-year-old history are also available, too.

One interesting item on offer is a silver coin that is a modern day replica of the gold papal ducat Pope Julius II paid the very first Swiss battalion that marched from Switzerland to their new job in Rome more than half a millennium ago.

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