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Castel Gandolfo

For adults

Our most recommended Castel Gandolfo Things to do for adults

Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

1. Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

Take a stirring journey through art and religious history with skip-the-ticket-line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Avoid the long ticket lines and then enjoy your visit at your own pace.  Wander through the Greek Cross Gallery to see elaborately-carved sarcophagi that might just contain the earthly remains of some of antiquity's famous kings and queens. Peek at the Cabinet of the Masks, or tour the Sala degli Animali to see a virtual menagerie of fantastic beasts, real and imagined. Walk the Upper Galleries, including the Gallery of Maps, to see how cartographers depicted the world through the ages. See masterpieces by Renaissance masters in the Raphael Rooms, and rest for a while in the Borgia Apartments. Then, it’s time to marvel at Michelangelo’s exquisite Sistine Chapel, the crown jewel of the Vatican, and perhaps even of all the world’s art treasures.

Papal Palace Ticket and Gardens Minibus Tour

2. 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

3. 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: Pontifical Villa Gardens at Castel Gandolfo Minibus

4. Rome: Pontifical Villa Gardens at Castel Gandolfo Minibus

Explore the 55-hectare gardens of the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo by open minibus. Listen to the audio guide as you roam the gardens to learn all their secrets. Meet your greeter in the Palazzo before starting your tour. Climb aboard the eco-friendly minibus to discover the Castel Gandolfo gardens. See tree-lined avenues, flowers, fountains, and statues. Admire views of the sapphire blue and emerald green waters of Lake Albano. Take in the remains of Emperor Domitian's residence. Find out all there is to know about the Popes, including which pontiff installed a swimming pool and which one laid low in Castel Gandolfo for months after handing in his resignation. You can upgrade your minibus tour of the gardens. Choose from a visit to the papal apartments or lunch in the papal gardens. In the Pope's summer residence, discover five hundred years of papal history in the apartments. Wander from the bedroom to the private chapel and from the library to the studio. Gaze at the balcony from which the Popes pronounced the Angelus every summer Sunday. Or, enjoy a lunch of traditional foods in the garden picnic area. Tuck into a porchetta or vegetarian sandwich, bottled water, a wine or beer, and typical wine biscuits.

Castel Gandolfo: Pope’s Private Palaces & Barberini Gardens

5. 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. Enhance your experience by selecting the full-day option and enjoy a guided tour.

Pope’s Summer Residence Tour with Lunch

6. 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.

Rome: Papal Summer Residence Half-Day Trip

7. 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 Summer Residence Tour with Lunch

8. 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.

Rome: Early Vatican Museums & Castel Gandolfo Tour

9. Rome: Early Vatican Museums & Castel Gandolfo Tour

Benefit from priority entrance at 8 AM, away from the daily crowds. You will visit Vatican Museums’ must sees such as Gallery of Candelabra, Gallery of Maps and Gallery of Tapestry and the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's paintings.. After your visit to Vatican Museums, you will be escorted by Vatican guard to the Vatican Station, where you will take the special train that connects Vatican City with Pope Summer Residence in Castel Gandolfo. You will enjoy a panoramic ride of the Roman Countryside and reach in about 30 minutes the charming village of Castel Gandolfo renown for the Pope's' residence and for the delicious local food served by local restaurants. You will visit the Baroque Barberini Gardens on an electric bus with your audio-guide and access also inside the Pope's Palace with beautiful rooms decorated with precios art-crafts and with the Popes Portraits representing many important Popes including the Pope Julius the II who commissioned the Sistine Chapel to Michelangelo. You will receive a flexible return ticket that will allow to spend some free time in Castel Gandolfo enjoying the local shops and food and the panoramic view over the Lake.

From Rome: Castel Gandolfo and Gardens Day Trip

10. From Rome: Castel Gandolfo and Gardens 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.

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What people are saying about Castel Gandolfo

We collected our tickets very quickly and went directly to the museums. There are so many pieces of art to be admired so one needs to be ready to walk through many rooms and quite some distance to get to Sistine Chapel. Definitely must-see when being in Rome. Amazing experience though a bit overcrowded with many tourists (as with all the main attractions).

Avoided the queues, easy to find starting point. The audio your was great. The map from the museum didn't make sense but I just followed the signposts.

By buying in advance, we jumped the queue. Everything went very smoothly would definitely use get your guide again

Alot of history which was amazing. you could easily spend a month in hear, if you were that interested.

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