The secret gardens and the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo.
The Papal villas of Castel Gandolfo are located in an area about 55 hectares wide.
This area was granted to the Papal States with the Lateran Treaty in 1929, and represent the suburban residence attended by the popes, since the time of Urban the 8th, in the 17th century.
The Barberini Garden offers a scenery of exceptional beauty, composed by the Garden of Magnolias, and the Avenue of Roses, the Avenue Herbs, the Avenue of Ilex, and the Belvedere.
The path that goes from the Garden of Magnolias to the terraces of The Barberini Garden, is a unique experience, which develops in a setting frozen in time by its historical ruins (the Criptoportico, the Theater), which blend perfectly with the beauty of the sourrounding nature.
Inside Palazzo Apostolico are also the Portraits of the Popes, also free to the public. Subsequently to the Lateran Treaty, the gardens underwent profound transformations, wanted by the Holy See, which wanted to return to this place of enchantment the role of "place of papal vacation".
This attraction had been forbidden to the public for more than 500 years, and now the "secret" gardens of Castel Gandolfo can be visited again. And thanks to the collaboration between the Vatican Museums and the Fs Group, the old vatican railway line has been reactivated, which directly accesses the Pontifical Villas.
The special line is active on Saturdays and is connected to the stations of Castel Gandolfo and Albano Laziale, as well as to the ancient railway station of the Vatican City, to create an ideal link between the "two Vaticans",(the famous Vatican Museums and the Villas Pontifical Church of Castel Gandolfo).
The visits at the gardens and the palace of can be reserved directly through the site of the Vatican Museums.
Here you can find the full calendar of the visits to the Pontifical Villas.