Castel Gandolfo
Architecture Tours

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Our most recommended Castel Gandolfo Architecture Tours

Papal Palace Ticket and Gardens Minibus Tour

1. Papal Palace Ticket and Gardens Minibus Tour

Explore the Papal Palace at your own pace with a multilingual audio guide. Admire the architecture, learn its history, and discover its many collections of art, relics, and more. Extend your visit with a minibus tour of the Barberini Gardens and admire the intricate displays. Once you arrive at the Castle doors, pick up your audio guide and begin your walk through the palace. Gaze at the many treasures, from uniforms and relics to artworks and furniture. Learn the interesting history of the Pontifical Residence, commonly known as the Second Vatican. Designed by the Swiss-Italian architect Carlo Maderno for Pope Urban VIII, and it has served as a summer retreat for various popes since the 17th century. Don't forget to pay your respects to the sedan chair of Pope Pius IX, and the BMW used by Pope John Paul II, before taking the option to visit the Barberini Gardens on a 45-minute minibus tour. The gardens offer views of intricately designed shrubbery and unique fountains, the perfect finisher to the palace experience.

Rome: Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo Walking Tour

2. Rome: Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo Walking Tour

Travel along the dreamy Italian countryside, far away from the hustle and bustle of Rome. a true treasure trove of art and history. Visit the quaint village of Castel Gandolfo, perched atop the sapphire blue waters of Lake Albano, mushroomed around the Pope’s Summer Palace. Be accompanied by a member of the Vatican staff on a walking tour of the "green heart" of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo. Castel Gandolfo, which served for centuries as a summer residence and vacation retreat for the pope, is spread for 55 hectares. Enjoy the walk through the botanical and architectural wonders of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo. Its Barberini Garden produces and ships a basket of fresh produce to the Vatican. See beautifully maintained orchards, vineyards, and over 1000 olive trees around the farm. You can upgrade your walk in the Pontifical Villas with 2 wonderful options: Popes' Summer Residence Visit the Papal Apartment to delve into 500 years of history. Wander from the bedroom to the private chapel, from the library to the studio. Look at the balcony from where the Popes pronounced the Angelus every summer Sunday. Picnic in the Papal Gardens Enjoy lunch with traditional food in the garden picnic area. Savor a porchetta or vegetarian sandwich with bottled water, wine or beer, and typical wine biscuits. Immerse yourself in this treasure trove in the outskirts of Rome. Walk in the footsteps of the Popes around the 7 rooms and summer offices inside the Palace.

Rome: Vatican & Lunch at Pope's Summer Residence Day Tour

3. Rome: Vatican & Lunch at Pope's Summer Residence Day Tour

Start your 9-hour program with a bus ride to Castel Gandolfo, a secluded and charming town that’s home to the pope’s summer residence. Explore the pope’s private Barberini Gardens by mini-bus and with the assistance of an audio guide. The Papal Palace was recently opened to the public by Pope Francis. You’ll see the treasures of this extravagant yet intimate interior, including works by Bernini. Enjoy a break for lunch and some free time to explore the town before heading back to Rome. In the afternoon, begin a 3-hour tour of Vatican City at the Vatican Museums. With your priority access you’ll skip the lines, allowing more time to discover the great works of art. Continue to the Sistine Chapel, where your guide will point out amazing art including Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement – the largest fresco ever painted by a single person. The last stop on this walking tour of Vatican City is St. Peter’s Basilica, which is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture.

Rome: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2 to 7 Attractions

4. Rome: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2 to 7 Attractions

Explore Rome at your own pace with the Go City Rome Explorer Pass. Choose from 2 to 7 attractions and tours from a list of over 30 options including the Colosseum, a hop-on hop-off bus tour, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and more. With a full 60 days to use your pass from your first attraction visit or tour, you'll have plenty of time to visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, join a wine tasting by the Colosseum, enjoy a candlelit classical music concert, or go bike riding among ancient Roman ruins. Take advantage of great savings compared to buying individual attraction tickets and enjoy a complimentary digital guide packed with attraction information and instructions on booking your visits. To redeem, simply display your pass on your mobile device (or print it at home) at the ticket office or gate for free admission. Choose 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 attractions from the following (some of the activities may require reservations, check your digital guide for instructions): Cultural and Historical Sights • Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palantine Hill with audio tour, hosted entry, and multimedia video • Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel • St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour • Borghese Gallery and city guide app • Castel Sant' Angelo with audio guide • Capitolini Museum with hosted entry • Altar of the Fatherland Panoramic View • Piazza Navona Underground • Altar of the Fatherland Panoramic View • Carcer Tullianum (Mamertine Prison) Other Tours and Experiences • Big Bus Rome Hop-on Hop-off 1-Day Classic Tour • Rome Catacombs Tour including transfer • Delicious Pasta Menu by Trevi Fountain • Best of Rome at Twilight • Wine tasting with a certified sommelier by the Colosseum • Colosseum Exterior VR Experience • Circus Maximus Virtual Reality Game • HiBike and Caracalla Baths - 3hrs • Ancient Via Appia Antica by Bike • The Three Tenors in Concert with Ballet - St. Paul's Church • HiBike and Circo Massimo Experience (3 hours) • Museo delle Cere (Wax Museum) • Welcome to Rome Show • Leonardo Da Vinci Experience • Vivaldi's Four Seasons Meets Bach's Masterpieces • Trevi District Underground: Small Aqueduct Domus • Vigamus - Video Game Museum • HiBike Rental (3 hours) • Candlelight Concert at the Waldensian Auditorium Attractions and tours are subject to change. Check your included digital guide for an up-to-date attraction list including opening times and instructions on how to access each attraction with your pass before you go. 

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Tour

5. Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Tour

Start your day bright and early as you meet your tour guide at the Vatican Museums. Skip the line and enter 45 minutes before the general public with your special access ticket. After going through a brief security check, proceed inside to begin your tour starting with the best galleries. Follow your art historian guide along the tour route which includes the Gallery of the Tapestries, the Gallery of the Candelabra, and the Gallery of the Maps.  Then, learn about the history and process Michelangelo used to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel before entering to see it yourself. Continue to the Vatican Gardens, where only special tour groups are allowed to visit. With your exclusive Vatican Gardens tickets, breathe in the tranquil air of this mini paradise. After your Vatican Gardens tour, enter Vatican City’s only train station to board the train to Castel Gandolfo. Once the site of Emperor Domitian’s Villa, the Barberini Gardens boast beautifully-designed hedges situated amidst flowers, fountains and Ancient Roman ruins. Your guide will tell you stories about the history of the gardens and the many points of interest located within. Once you’ve explored the lush scenery of the Barberini Gardens, the tour will break for lunch (included with the tour). Sit down to a sumptuous spread of locally-sourced, organic Italian meats, cheeses, olive oil, tomatoes, and pasta. Then, have the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence. Now a museum open to the public, enjoy exploring the Palace’s many rooms, art galleries, and collection of cars driven by former popes. Use your round-trip train ticket to return to Vatican City and conclude your memorable experience.

Castel Gandolfo: Pope’s Summer Residence Tour with Lunch

6. Castel Gandolfo: Pope’s Summer Residence Tour with Lunch

Just 12 miles outside of Rome stands the town of Castel Gandolfo, home to the papal residence for over 400 years. Join an exclusive tour of the Apostolic Palace and the Barberini Gardens to walk in the footsteps of the popes. Once arriving at Castel Gandolfo, walk to the papal residence to receive an official audio guide. Then, enjoy a ride on the Vatican open bus for an hour around the Barberini Gardens. While you enjoy the fresh air and summer breeze, the staff of the papal residence will prepare your lunch. Visit the papal apartment to delve into 500 years of history. Wander from the bedroom to the private chapel, from the library to the studio. Look at the balcony from where the popes pronounced the Angelus every summer Sunday.

From Rome: Guided Tour of Vatican City & Pope's Residence

7. From Rome: Guided Tour of Vatican City & Pope's Residence

This is a unique chance to visit everything about the Vatican in 1 day and by avoiding the crowds. You will access the Vatican Museums before the public, at 7.45 am and you will have an exclusive tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Your guide will walk you then through the amazing Vatican Gardens and you'll discover the beauty of this unique place. Together with the guide, you'll reach the iconic Vatican City train station from where you will start your journey to Castel Gandolfo (approx. 45mins). At the station, you will have the transportation waiting for you. In 10 minutes you'll reach the Pope's Gardens where lunch will be served. After lunch, you'll have a designated guide who will walk you, at a slow pace, through the Pope's Gardens. Afterward, you'll reach the Pope's Summer residence where you'll have the chance to discover so much about the history and aspects of Popes' lives that you didn't know before. At the end of the visit, you'll have a transfer to the train station. Once in Rome, a car will wait for you to bring you to your hotel. This tour includes a host, a guide and a transportation in a way that you cannot miss anything and also you'll have the assistance all day long.

Rome: Private Appian Way & Albano Lake Full-Day E-Bike Tour

8. Rome: Private Appian Way & Albano Lake Full-Day E-Bike Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of central Rome for a full-day mountain bike tour in the surrounding countryside and follow a route through pristine nature and landscapes that have inspired some of Italy’s best known artists. The moderately difficult 50-kilometer route will take you past some of Rome’s most historic sites, such as Trajan's Baths, the Ninfeum of Egeria, Villa dei Quintilli and Caracalla’s Baths. Departing from near the Colosseum, bike through Caffarella Park to the Aqueduct Park, named after the historic aqueducts that run through this part of the Appian Way regional park. Because of its idyllic ambiance, Aqueduct Park is often used as a film location. Take the train from Capanelle to Castel Gandolfo, before hopping on your mountain bike to explore the surroundings of Lake Albano. Stop at a local restaurant with a wonderful view of the water and relax as you enjoy a traditional lunch of Italian cuisine. Lake Albano is also known as Castel Gandolfo Lake, after the castle and the Pope’s summer residence that overlooks the lake. After lunch, head back to Rome, cycling a nice descent to set you up for the Appia Antica. Relive the glory days of the Roman Empire as you bike along cobblestone streets that date back 2,300 years. Pass ancient tombs and ruins from the Roman Republic.

Vatican City: Vatican Museums and Castel Gandolfo w/ Lunch

9. Vatican City: Vatican Museums and Castel Gandolfo w/ Lunch

Start your day trip with an amazing early entrance visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with a professional Guide. Take your time to enjoy Micheal Angelo's masterpieces before the crowds. Enjoy the privileged skip the line entrance and take most of it to visit all the parts of the Museums in peace. Wander the Vatican City Gardens which will make your way to a modern train that will take you to Pope's Summer Residence at Castel Gandolfo. Have a biological lunch at the Barberini Gardens. Let your guide lead you through the amazing Barberini Gardens and Pope's Summer residence recently opened to external visitors. Enjoy this day trip and take the train back to the St. Perter's train station in Rome.

From Rome: Pope's Residence and Vatican Museum Guided Tour

10. From Rome: Pope's Residence and Vatican Museum Guided Tour

Discover the wonders of the Vatican Museums and the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo with skip-the-line entry privileges. Enjoy private guided tours of the pope's residence and the Barberini Gardens before visiting the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Start your journey in the center of Rome where you will board a private air-conditioned coach heading to Castel Gandolfo in the verdant Alban Hills. Your guide will fill you in on the history of this long-hidden region. On arrival, enter the Papal Residence for a private tour that includes the pope’s own bedroom, study, and chapel. Hear insights into the lives and traditions of popes of the past and present as well as the residence’s role as a sanctuary for refugees during World War II. Look out to the sea from the Papal Terrace as the popes have since the 17th century. Then, continue for a stroll around the Barberini Gardens, whose balance of Imperial Roman and classical influences surrounds the whole Renaissance complex in tranquil beauty. After some free time for lunch, the next stop is the Vatican. Bypassing the hours-long lines with skip-the-line access, you'll enter the Vatican Museums with your guide. As you move through the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Candelabra, and the Raphael Rooms, your guide will share the stories behind this incredible collection of art and artifacts, including stories about the items most visitors miss. Later, head to the Sistine Chapel and find yourself in awe as you step into this hushed and sacred space. With the aid of photographs and your guide’s knowledge, you’ll know exactly what to look out for when you experience the incredible detail of the chapel for yourself.

Frequently asked questions about Castel Gandolfo Architecture Tours

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What people are saying about Castel Gandolfo

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 8 reviews

Very nice tour, perfectly organized with trained guides only the Vatican guide prepared but not very kind where we also had a bickering about being late due to queues and more because you started the tour in the explanations went more than necessary and noticed the delay of losing the train to Castel'Gandolfo blamed us Italians even with the firmness of the companion who replies that they were the first to arrive I'm sorry not to do so one has to take responsibility, explain the tour is impossible only to seeing a unique beauty advised everyone to try it to believe I end up with a word Spectacular.

Excellent tours,so beautiful residents garden for the pope!! My driver was very good.. in the afternoon did a tour of Vatican museum pier was a great tour guide very knowledgeable I learn alot from him

Interesting is the building with the rooms still partly furnished and the bus tour of the marvelous gardens is beautiful

Nice visit to these magnificent gardens. To discover after having wandered in Rome. Relaxing to be in the countryside.

Very convenient, especially since you don't have a line and you can set your own time.