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Barberini Gardens

Barberini Gardens: Our most recommended tours and activities

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.

Castel Gandolfo: Pope's Summer Residence Tour

2. Castel Gandolfo: Pope's Summer Residence Tour

Visit the summer residence of the pope at Castel Gandolfo. Wander through its stunning gardens, browse the Apostolic Palace museum exhibition, and learn about the pope, past and present. Meet your guide at the entrance of the villas and then board a bus to visit the gardens of the pope's summer residence. As you go through the gardens, learn interesting facts and see where the library is located. Hear about the library's catalogue including works by Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton. Make stops at some of the most emblematic points such as La Villa Barberini. Also see Villa Cybo, a garden full of marble statues and fountains of great artistic value. Then, visit the Apostolic Palace, also known as the Papal Palace and now serves as a museum. In the museum, see different pope-mobiles and discover the many aspects of the pope's day-to-day life. During the course of your tour hear about the popes who have passed at the residence, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's time here after his resignation, and many other stories.

Rome: Papal Summer Residence Half-Day Trip

3. Rome: Papal Summer Residence Half-Day Trip

Take a tour of the Apostolic Palace, stroll through the Barberini Gardens, and walk in the footsteps of the pope himself on this thrilling half-day trip. After meeting your host near Termini Station, a train will take you to Castel Gandolfo, where you’ll transfer to a comfortable open-roofed bus. Enjoy the Barberini Gardens for an hour while the audio guide explains the interesting details of the area. You’ll be fascinated by the sense of history and grandeur as you pass through this historical must-see. Take in the breathtaking views of the picturesque Lake Albano – and be sure to take lots of photos. From there, you’ll step into the impressive Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope. Take your time to enjoy this world of pure artistic beauty. Visit the luxurious papal apartments, see the gallery of the papal portraits, the extensive Vatican Library, and much more!  An absolute must-do for any visitor to the area.

Castel Gandolfo: Pope’s Private Palaces & Barberini Gardens

4. Castel Gandolfo: Pope’s Private Palaces & Barberini Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to the tranquil Castel Gandolfo where you can follow in the pope’s footsteps. Start off at the Apostolic Palace, pick up your complimentary audio guide, and get ready for a sneak peek into the lives of the popes at their traditional vacation retreat.  Experience the intricate work of the clergy up close as you pass by historical papal gowns and the pope’s portable throne. Explore the pope’s private apartment and enjoy sweeping panoramic views from his hill-top home. Next, visit the Barberini Gardens. Explore the luxurious gardens from the comfort of an air-conditioned minibus. Uncover the history of this unique site with a complimentary audio guide, available in a multitude of languages.

Pope’s Summer Residence Tour with Lunch

5. Pope’s Summer Residence Tour with Lunch

Enjoy a unique half-day tour from Rome that will take you to the lovely town of Castel Gandolfo where you will visit the Papal Palace and its stunning landscaped gardens. Castel Gandolfo, built on the site of the legendary ancient settlement of Alba Longa, is one of Italy’s most picturesque towns and has been home to the Papal summer retreat since 1596. Situated in the Regional Park of the Castelli Romani, it enjoys splendid views over the beautiful Lake Albano, which you will be able to admire from the grounds of the Apostolic Palace. On this tour, you will be able to explore the up-to-now hidden gems of this glorious private residence with an audio-guide in the language of your choice. Following this, you will have the opportunity to see the gorgeously manicured Barberini Gardens and the impressive ruins of Emperor Domitian’s villa, before enjoying a lunch prepared with fresh produce from the palace farm! If you have not already done so, you will have the chance to add a tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica with your fantastic guide onto your experience, in which case, upon your return to Rome, you will be dropped off right outside the Vatican.

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

6. 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.

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Tour

7. 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.

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

8. 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.

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: Castel Gandolfo and Gardens With Picnic Day Trip

10. From Rome: Castel Gandolfo and Gardens With Picnic Day Trip

A private driver will pick you up in the morning from your accommodation and take you to Castel Gandolfo, which has been elected one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. You will then start the tour in the Papal Palace where you will be given an audio guide. The tour will start with the visit of the palace (open to the public only recently) and gardens, where the Popes have their vineyards, farms, olive trees. The visit to Barberini Gardens will take place on an eco-friendly convertible minibus, here you will admire french-style gardens, special kind of flowers, roman statues and fountains. At the end of the excursion our driver will drop you off back at your hotel.

Other Sightseeing Options in Barberini Gardens

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

What people are saying about Barberini Gardens

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 108 reviews

Had trouble le finding the meeting place as was not the GPS spot. Palace tour was a self guided audio tour & the gardens were beautiful. Need the bus as was hot & gardens are massive. Spent a few hours in the town which was so charming & quaint with shops & restaurants! Easy train ride from Roma Termini.

Very interesting insight into the private retreat of the popes. The tour of the gardens by minibus is well worth it. I would only recommend the tour on foot in mild weather. The palace itself is very impressive and offers wonderful views over the countryside.

Excellent tour. Could not have asked for more. I was admittedly apprehensive about this tour (and the associated cost), but found that this was one of my most memorable experiences that I have ever had within Rome. Highly recommend this!

I always wanted to visit Castel Gandolfo, this program fulfilled my expectation. In the town there are small restaurants where you can eat well. Thanks.

It was a very nice experience. Our guide was the Best. She loves history. We learned a lot of interesting informations. I liked it very much.