Castel Gandolfo
Castle & Palace Tours

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Our most recommended Castel Gandolfo Castle & Palace Tours

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

1. 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: Vatican Art and Architecture Highlights Tour By Bus

2. Rome: Vatican Art and Architecture Highlights Tour By Bus

Explore the depths of Vatican City and its prim surroundings with skip-the-line tickets and an audio guide. Visit the Vatican early in the morning, and from here, continue on to the neighboring area of Lazlo by train to Castel Gandolfo and see all the beauty of the ancient city. First, meet up with your guide before the crowds begin at the Vatican. Take in the famous works of art, including those at the Sistine Chapel. Board a train with your guide and group and head off to the old city of Castel Gandolfo, on the beautiful Lake Albano. Your guide will provide you with an additional audio guide so that you’re sure not to miss any details along your tour. After the train, board an open-air bus to pass through Castel Gandolfo. Stop to explore the intricate and groomed Barberini Gardens. From here, you can wrap up your tour and go see the official residences of the pope in the Vatican City at Apostolic Palace, designed by the same architect who worked on St. Peter’s Basilica.

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

3. 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.

From Rome: Castelgandolfo & Pontifical Villas

4. From Rome: Castelgandolfo & Pontifical Villas

At 09:30, you will be picked up from your hotel in Rome by your driver. You'll enjoy a scenic 1-hour drive to Castel Gandolfo. Visit the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo on your own with audioguides (tickets and audioguides included), then you’ll enjoy the pretty historical center of Castel Gandolfo town and the scenic view of Albano Lake with a stop for a good lunch. After lunch, return back to your accommodation in Rome. The Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo are increasingly accessible to visitors. Following the opening to the public of the Barberini Garden and the inauguration, within the Apostolic Palace, of the Museums of the Gallery of the Portraits of the Pontiffs, now the most private and reserved areas of the papal residence can also be admired and enjoyed by pilgrims and tourists. Many of the exclusive places in the Papal Apartment will be revealed to visitors: from the bedchamber to the private chapel, from the library to the study, along a rich exhibition itinerary conceived, arranged and managed by the Vatican Museums. The Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo comprise about 55 hectares (11 more than Vatican City) of which 30 make up a garden while 25 are used for farming. The latter is carried out with full regard for the aesthetics proper to countryside gardening. The entire papal residence enjoys all the privileges of extraterritoriality. When one visits the pontifical estates or Villa Pontificia for the first time, he does not expect to come across the ruins of what is perhaps the most famous villa of ancient Rome, the Albanum Domitiani, the magnificent summer residence of the Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD), which once covered roughly 14 kilometers along the Appian Way towards Lake Albano. 

Rome: Vatican Day Tour With Skip-the-Line Tickets and Lunch

5. Rome: Vatican Day Tour With Skip-the-Line Tickets and Lunch

Whether it's your first or fifth visit to the Vatican, take the time to discover all there is to see on this full-day comprehensive tour of its museums, gardens, and grounds. You’ll begin early by meeting your guide outside the entrance to the Vatican Museums where you’ll skip the usually long lines outside to go straight in. This collection houses 26 distinct museums and 70,000 pieces of art. But we’ve taken the stress out of your day by ensuring you’ll be accompanied by an official Vatican guide who knows these museums inside-out and will be able to take you to the best of the best. Enjoy the exquisitely crafted sculptures in the Octagonal Courtyard, the magnificent Raphael Rooms, and the ornate Gallery of Tapestries. You'll also arrive at Michelangelo's masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel, fully prepared with tips from your guide on what to look out for. Next, you'll journey into the stately Vatican Gardens. Entry to this collection of landscaped gardens, forests, and medieval monuments is strictly for those on tours (like this one), so you’ll be sure of a slice of tranquility within the bustling city-state. After you’ve soaked in the fresh air, you’ll make your way to the Vatican Rail Station with your guide for a journey to make your Vatican experience complete. Opened as recently as 2015, you’ll step aboard the Pope’s train and set your sights on one of the most beautiful hill towns in all of Italy coming into view. Steeped in history, Castel Gandolfo is not only the summer residence of the Popes but close by is the birthplace of the legendary Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome. The gorgeous gardens of the Villa Barberini are where you’ll be treated to an inviting buffet lunch, made of traditional Italian dishes and fresh seasonal ingredients. Use your free time after lunch to explore the charming town further. We’d recommend visiting the Papal Palace for an audio tour (included) where you can roam inside the Pope’s apartments, which are vastly more extensive than even those of the Vatican! Afterward, be sure to wander towards the beautiful Lake Albano and take in the scenic hill views.

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What people are saying about Castel Gandolfo

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 51 reviews

Very good day with a very good guide, Roberto!

Original and very interesting excursion with a good, attentive and dynamic guide, departing from Rome: Roberto. And the other guide on site, Francesca, was also really warm. She taught us many things. The day was very successful.