The Pope is on the way to Cuba

Pope Francis left Rome on Saturday for Havana, where he will start his landmark trip to Cuba and the United States.

The Alitalia plane carrying the pope, his entourage and journalists left Fiumicino airport for a flight of nearly 12 hours to the Cuban capital.

The pope will be in Cuba until Tuesday, when he leaves for Washington. Francis will also visit New York and Philadelphia before returning to Rome on Sept. 28.

It is the Argentine pope’s first trip to both countries. The Vatican mediated the return to normal diplomatic relations between Cuba and Washington last year.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by Susan Thomas)

More from Reuters:

This article originally appeared at Reuters. Copyright 2015. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.