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Delight in the rare privilege of discovering the Pope’s summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, recently opened by Pope Francis for a select number of tours. Until a short time ago such a visit would have been impossible, but for the first time we offers an exclusive experience of this magical realm, filled with secrets and history, that is sure to charm you thanks to our privileged position as an official Vatican partner, all with benefits you can’t find anywhere else!

Description:

On this unique tour, we take you on a journey of discovery to the Vatican’s most coveted getaway in Castel Gandolfo just 15 miles south of Rome in the verdant Alban hills, where you will be treated to a guided visit of the Papal summer residence, including the Apostolic Palace and the Barberini Gardens, as well as a once in a lifetime chance to have a buffet lunch on local products that come directly from the Pope’s private farm, with the chance to buy them for yourself, a rare privilege usually reserved exclusively for Vatican citizens, dignitaries, the high clergy or the Pope himself, and we’re the only tour operator to offer this!

Meet our expert guide who will accompany you throughout the day at a central location in Rome before embarking on the 1-hour bus ride to Castel Gandolfo via private coach.

Once arrived and fresh with the captivating stories and commentary provided by your guide on the way up, you’ll have some free time in the town of Castel Gandolfo for a coffee break, shopping for souvenirs or just exploring its narrow alleys and sweeping views.

You will then be handed over to an official Vatican guide for a spectacular 45-minute guided visit to the Apostolic Palace for an insider’s look at the rare treasures and history it contains. This 17th century abode has served as a summer residence to the Popes since Urban VIII chose it for its stunning position and panorama in 1626. Explore this remarkable complex, often referred to as the ‘Second Vatican’, culminating in the breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape from the Papal Terrace, a privilege reserved for very few.

After the first leg of your visit, you will continue with your official Vatican guide for a 1 hour and 15 minutes guided stroll covering the best of the Barberini Gardens, some of the most beautiful in Italy and the world. Built over the ruins of the Emperor Domitian’s villa, this Renaissance masterpiece can be described as nothing less than a feast for the senses. Admire the extraordinarily evocative natural and archaeological features of this earthly paradise, including the Magnolia Garden, Path of Roses, with the impressive ruins of the imperial theatre, the ancient ‘crypto-portico’ covered passageway, and more until you reach the Belvedere Gardens with sweeping views that reach all the way to the sea.

A 10-minute shuttle transfer and you’ll be off to sample products from the Pope’s private farm for a lunch. Listen to your guide as they describe the farm in detail. You’ll then be ready to sit down and enjoy a meal fit for the Pope himself composed of yogurt, cheeses, honey, bruschetta with oil and tomatoes, salads, fresh produce and more, all produced from the surrounding land and of uncompromising quality. You’ll even get to try the famed ‘Pope’s Milk’!

You’ll be back on your private bus for Rome enriched by this unique experience with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the evening in Rome



Highlights:
  • Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
  • Likely to Sell Out
  • Enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city
  • All entrance fees included
  • Lunch included
  • Led by a local guide

Location: Rome, Vatican City

Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes

Voucher Redembtion: You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity. 





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Additional Information


    Operates: Tuesday, Friday

    Departure Point:
    Central Rome

    Departure Time: 8:30am

    Return Details:
    Original departure point

  • Inclusions:
    • Entrance ticket for the Apostolic Palace, Private Papal Apartments and its gardens
    • Local food buffet Lunch inside the Pope’s summer residency
    • Tour as per description
    • English speaking local guide providing assistance and expert commentary throughout the tour, exclusively in English
    • Round-trip transport from Rome in an air-conditioned bus
    • Groups of 25 people or less
    • Audio headsets so you can always hear your guide

  • Exclusions:
    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
    • Gratuities

  • Other Information:
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • This tour involves a fair amount of walking and stairs; comfortable shoes are recommended.
    • We regret that we are unable to accommodate guests with wheelchairs or any impairments requiring special assistance. We are also unable to accommodate strollers or baby carriages on our group tours.
    • Extra measures may be implemented at some venues due to heightened global security. As a result, we may experience delays in getting through mandatory security checks when entering these venues
    • Entrance into the Apostolic Palace requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. We cannot be held responsible for refused entry due to improper dress.  
    • It is the individual responsibility of all visitors to arrive at the designated meeting point 15 minutes prior to the scheduled tour time


Travel Voucher
You will receive a link to your voucher via email once your booking is confirmed.

Local Operator Information
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.



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