Exclusive Pope’s Summer Residence at Castel Gandolfo Tour with Lunch

Exclusive Pope’s Summer Residence at Castel Gandolfo Tour with Lunch

5 46 Reviews

Tour Highlights

  • Guided tour of the Pope's summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, with the Papal Terrace and Barberini Gardens
  • Visit the actual Private Apartments used by the Popes, including intimate and holy spaces like the Papal Bedroom, Study and Chapel
  • Free time to visit the scenic town of Castel Gandolfo perched over Lake Albano
  • Exclusive in loco buffet lunch with organic products from the Pope's private farm and a chance to buy them for yourself
  • Round trip transportation to and from Rome by private coach
  • Expert local guide with commentary and insider tips throughout the tour
  • Groups of no more than 25 people


Explore the magical realm of Castel Gandolfo and the Pope’s summer residence on this exclusive tour that includes the Apostolic Palace, Papal Terrace, lavish Barberini Gardens and buffet lunch on products that come directly from the Pope’s private farm, all with expert guides to accompany you.

Tour Description

Embark on a journey of discovery to this amazing Vatican getaway 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, coveted Private Papal Apartments, and the Barberini Gardens, as well as a once in a lifetime chance to have a buffet lunch on local products from the Pope’s private farm. You’ll even have the chance to buy them yourself, a rare privilege usually reserved for Vatican citizens, foreign dignitaries, or the Pope himself.

Meet your group’s personal Vatican expert in Rome before embarking on the 1-hour bus ride to Castel Gandolfo by private coach. As the city transforms into lush forested hills, you’ll begin to feel the enchantment of this area. Not only is it sealed off from the noise and chaos of Rome, it is also a place where nature amazingly still reigns supreme, a fact that has drawn the Popes here for centuries. Once arrived, you will stand in awe of the natural context that the Papal summer residence stands in, an immense volcanic lake whose crater walls are crowned by the Papal Palace itself.

After a quick coffee and souvenir break in the town, you’ll be handed over to an official Vatican guide for a spectacular 45-minute visit to the Apostolic Palace for an insider’s look at the rare treasures it contains, with the Papal Apartments including his private bedroom, study and chapel. 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 that may even pale in comparison to the view.

Continue for an hour long stroll covering the best of the Barberini Gardens, some of the most beautiful in Italy, built over the ruins of Emperor Domitian’s villa. This Renaissance masterpiece is nothing less than a feast for the senses. Admire the 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 views that sweep to the sea.

Now for the rarest privilege as you’re off to sample products from the Pope’s private farm for a spectacular buffet lunch. Listen to your guide as they describe the rigorously organic products and techniques used for all the food that reaches the Papal table. You’ll then be ready to sit down and enjoy a meal fit for the Pope himself composed of meats, cheeses, bruschetta with oil and tomatoes, salads, fresh produce and more, all produced from the surrounding land and of uncompromising quality. You’ll even have the chance to buy these totally unique products for yourselves.

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What's included

  • Entrance ticket for the Apostolic Palace, Private Papal Apartments and Barberini Gardens
  • Buffet lunch with food products from the private Papal farm
  • Commentary from local expert guides throughout the tour
  • Round-trip transport from Rome by private coach
  • Small groups of 25 people or less
  • Audio headsets so you can always hear your guide

Sites Visited

  • Pope’s Summer Residence in Castel Gandolfo
  • Apostolic Palace
  • Private Apartments
  • Papal Terrace
  • Barberini Gardens
  • Town of Castel Gandolfo

Important notes

Entrance into the Apostolic Palace requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. City Wonders cannot be held responsible for refused entry due to improper dress.


  • When can I make a amendment to a booking?

    Changes made to bookings within the 72 hour window will be subject to rebooking fees to cover the cost of tickets purchased, transport, guide rescheduling, headsets and administration.

  • Is an advanced booking necessary or can I just show up at the meeting point?

    We strongly advise against arriving at the meeting point without a booking as we cannot guarantee that there will be space left on the tour. Our guides are unable to accept payment for tours so any bookings made on the spot will still need to be processed over the phone with payment by credit card.

  • Where do I meet with my tour and guide?

    The meeting point differs from tour to tour. Upon booking you will receive a confirmation voucher containing your tour details and some important information. There, you will find the meeting point details along with some images, tips, links to Google Maps and GPS coordinates.

    All our meeting points are located close to metro stations and are easy to access. Our Customer Care Team is also happy to provide guidance and help with locating your tour meeting point.

Exclusive Pope’s Summer Residence at Castel Gandolfo Tour with Lunch Reviews

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A Dark Rome tour is the product of meticulous research, detailed planning, and a passion for providing customers with travel experiences they will cherish forever.

With Dark Rome it's not just facts, our passionate guides tell you the stories that bring the sights to life.

  • All of our guides are experts in their field
  • We only hire fluent English-speakers so nothing is ever lost in translation
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