Vatican's radio opens to commercial advertising

Vatican City - The Vatican's official radio station is set to start airing commercials for the first time since it began broadcasting almost 80 years ago, officials said Tuesday. Vatican Radio will run a series of "spots" advertising the services of Italian state-controlled energy provider, Enel, beginning on July 6, the station's director Father Federico Lombardi said.

"We are proud to have been chosen as the first advertiser on one of the world's most widely broadcast radio stations," Enel's chairman Piero Gnudi, said speaking at Vatican newsconference.

Established in 1931 with the help of radio's Italian inventor, Guglielmo Marconi, Vatican Radio currently broadcasts in some 47 languages, also through its online site

Enel produces and sells electricity mostly in Europe, North and Latin America and it also a major distributor and vendor of natural gas in Italy.