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  1. Italy
  2. Lazio
  3. Rome

Pope's Palace, Castel Gandolfo, & Gardens by Train From Rome

Product ID: 225534
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This tour is designed to give you access to two properties that were once the exclusive domain of the Popes - Barberini Garden (a favorite retreat for Pope Benedict) and Apostolic Palace (summer residence of many generations of Popes).
About this activity
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Live tour guide
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts


  • Step inside the Pope’s summer residence with a visit to the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo
  • Explore the historic Barberini Garden at Castel Gandolfo for panoramic views, beautiful plants, and ruins dating back to the days of Ancient Rome
  • Enjoy free time and lunch in the picturesque town of Castel Gandolfo
Full description
Meet at Termini station in the morning to make sure you get on the right train. As Rome recedes behind you, your friendly, energetic tour leader will give you a brief introduction to your destination: the jewel in the crown of the Castelli Romani region, the town of Castel Gandolfo, which sits overlooking the crater lake of an extinct volcano. For 400 years the breezy little town hosted the Popes during the hot Roman summer and today you are going to see both the gardens and the Apostolic Palace that they built here.

Your first stop is the Barberini Garden, which you’ll explore on an electric train with an audio guide. Built on the remains of Emperor Domitian’s palace, the gardens are a unique mix of Roman ruins and carefully cultivated flora; verdant terraces filled with Cedars, Cypress, and Holm Oaks mixed with geometric flower beds that erupt into bloom in the spring and summer. Although these gardens, which were a favorite of John Paul II, have been cultivated since the 17th century, they have only been opened to the public in the last few years making this an experience some 400 years in the making.

After the gardens, your guide will take you directly the Apostolic Palace, which was the summer home of the Popes before the pontificate of Pope Francis. Walking through its corridors with an official Vatican audio guide, you’ll take in beautiful architecture by Carlo Maderno, portraits of past Popes, and real examples of some of their most vibrant ceremonial garb. Along the way, you’ll gain a greater understanding of the ways that the papacy has changed over the centuries.

After you’ve seen the best of the Apostolic Palace, your guide will orient you in the town of Castel Gandolfo then give you some free time to get lunch and do a little self-guided sightseeing. If you have any questions about what to see or where to eat, don’t hesitate to ask.
  • Tickets to Papal Palace with Audio Tour
  • Tickets to the Barberini Garden with Audio Tour
  • Transportation to and from Rome
  • Expert tour guide
What’s Not Included
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup/drop-off
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

Prepare for the activity

Important information
What to bring
  • Comfortable shoes
Not allowed
  • Shorts
  • Baby strollers
  • Sleeveless shirts
Know before you go
• Unfortunately this tour is unable to accommodate guests with mobility impairments, wheelchairs, or strollers
Not available
Currently it is not possible to book this product due to its limited availability.
Organized by

Walks of Italy

Product ID: 225534