Gardens of Vatican City

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5 things to see and do at the Vatican Gardens

Roughly half of the Vatican is covered by flawlessly cultivated parks and gardens. You'll need to book a tour at least a week in advance if you want to see them, but here are a few of the treasures that'll be revealed if you do!

  • Sphere Within Sphere

    1. Sphere Within Sphere

    Arnaldo Pomodoro's Sphere Within Sphere was the first modern art piece to be exhibited at the Vatican Museums. It looks static, but push it firmly and it'll begin to rotate!

  • 2. Eagle Fountain

    Outside the Mater Ecclesiae nun monastery lies this spectacular fountain, designed by Giovanni Vasanzio to look like a heavenly lagoon.

  • Courtyard of the Pinecone

    3. Courtyard of the Pinecone

    The highest terrace in the famed Belvedere Courtyard takes its name from the 1st-century bronze sculpture of a pinecone that once crowned a Roman fountain.

  • Radio Vaticana

    4. Radio Vaticana

    Founded in 1931, the station played a vital role in the broadcast of anti-fascist information. Unfortunately, the first report on Nazi treatment of Poles and Jews fell on deaf ears.

  • House of Pius IV

    5. House of Pius IV

    Built in 1563, the beautiful "Casina di Pio IV" is the oldest building in the Vatican Gardens. It's now an integral part of the Pontificial Academy of Sciences.

Planning Your Visit

  • What are the opening times?

    Opening hours are subject to reservation. The Vatican Gardens aren't open to the general public, but you can still visit as part of a guided tour. Numbers are incredibly limited, however, so you'll need to book at least a week in advance.

  • How to get there?

    The closest Metro stop is Ottaviano-San Pietro. If you take a taxi though, ask about flat-rates (between major landmarks) or else make sure the meter's running. Some cab drivers try to get away with charging a special "Vatican fee" for tourists.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Monday-Tuesday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
    Thursday-Saturday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
    Holiday hours may vary
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult tickets, which include admission to the Museums, are €32.00 per person.
  • Will I need a guide?
    The garden tour can only be taken with a guide.
  • How to get there
    Take the Metro to the Ottaviano-San Pietro station.
  • Additional information
    *The walking tour of the gardens takes about two hours. | Open bus tours also available, check online for more details. *

Other Sightseeing Options in Gardens of Vatican City

Want to discover all there is to do in Gardens of Vatican City? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Gardens of Vatican City

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 562 reviews

The length of the experience may seem too long but it definitely didn't feel that way. The Vatican is incredible and time simply stands still when you are in the Sistine Chapel. You simply don't want to leave the beauty and peace. Our guide, Debora, was amazing. We had a group of 5 and she made an effort to connect with each person in the group throughout the day. She was very knowledgeable and personable. The train ride to Castel Gandolfo was fun. Imagine taking a private train in the back yard of the Pope's home as you exit the amazing gardens. I highly recommend you watch "The Two Popes" in advance of going. I always find myself imagining what life was like whenever I visit a site. The movie certainly brings to life the interactions that may have happened in real life.

I would appreciate if they had informed me before that the entrance for the garden tour was on the opposite side of the touristation shop in order to organize better my time. The guide for the Vatican museum was extremely friendly, with many knowledge. Grazie per tutto.

Eine sehr dynamische Tour, 100% professioneller Guide. Danke Patrizia für die schöne Tour. Empfohlen für alle, die nach Rom kommen.

tout simplement magnifique! Visiter les jardins du Vatican est une superbe expérience. Le guide était super!

really great tour, amazing organization. Thank you for this stunning experience. :)