Castel Gandolfo
Garden & Park Tours

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Our most recommended Castel Gandolfo Garden & Park Tours

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Tour

1. 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.

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

2. 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.

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From Rome: Castelgandolfo & Pontifical Villas

3. 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. 

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Other Sightseeing Options in Castel Gandolfo

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What people are saying about Castel Gandolfo

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 8 reviews

Great tour of Castel Gandolfo and the Vatican

We enjoyed a great tour of Castel Gandolfo and the Vatican last week. The tour began (by bus) with a trip to the Pope’s private gardens, followed by the Apostolic Palace - both beautiful destinations. We were even given a snack apparently straight from the Pope’s private farm before they allowed us to stroll around on our own for lunch. There were a few cute places to eat within walking distance of the sites (with prices less expensive then Rome city center). The town itself was beautiful and very quiet. And definitely off the radar for most tourists visiting Rome. The bus took us back to Rome in the afternoon to begin our 3-hour tour of the Vatican Museums and then Saint Peter’s. There was a live guide for this part of the tour – who was fabulous. At Castel Gandolfo, we were given an audio guide but were accompanied around by a tour lead. Normally I prefer live-guided tours but this seemed to work perfectly for the destination. Highly recommended experience!

Wonderful Day Tour of Castel Gandolfo, Vatican Museums and St. Peter's

Wonderful way to spend the day if you’ve already seen most of the main historical destinations in the city center. The tour began a little early (8:00 am) with a bus ride to the small town of Castel Gandolfo where the Pope’s summer residence is. We rode first by bus, then by a mini eco-train around the sites in this beautiful mountaintop town. After visiting the Pope’s private gardens and the Papal Palace, we were given some time to eat lunch and walk about town a little. This incredibly adorable town sits at the top of the mountain, overlooking the lake so on a clear day (which we luckily had) the views were breathtaking. Definitely enjoyed the morning at Castel Gandolfo more than the afternoon at the Vatican – but a visit there is a must when in Rome. If it were a longer trip, we would’ve liked to spend more time in Castel Gandolfo and around the Castelli Romani. Such a nice change of pace from the city center and so beautiful!

Wonderful Day Tour of Castel Gandolfo, Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s

Wonderful way to spend the day if you’ve already seen most of the main historical destinations in the city center. The tour began a little early (8:00 am) with a bus ride to the small town of Castel Gandolfo where the Pope’s summer residence is. We road first by bus, then by a mini eco-train around the sites in this beautiful mountaintop town. After visiting the Pope’s private gardens and the Papal Palace, we were given some time to eat lunch and walk about town a little. This incredibly adorable town sits at the top of the mountain, overlooking the lake so on a clear day (which we luckily had) the views were breathtaking. Definitely enjoyed the morning at Castel Gandolfo more than the afternoon at the Vatican – but a visit there is a must when in Rome. If it were a longer trip, we would’ve liked to spend more time in Castel Gandolfo and around the Castelli Romani. Such a nice change of pace from the city center and so beautiful!

Amazing day trip to Castel Gondolfo and Vatican City!

The trip starts in Castel Gondolfo where we've seen the beautiful gardens of the Pope's summer residence and the Apostolic Palace. It was so beautiful and peacefull! Then we had a break for lunch and we eat in a really nice little restaurant before to go back to Rome. The visit of the Vatican Musems and Sistine Chapel was amazing, and to finish the visit to St. Peter's Basilica was wonderfull! In the morning you have an audioguide with good information and in the afternoon we had a live guide who was so nice and knowledgeable! All our day trip was really well organised, I recommend it 100%!

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