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Picnic in the Papal Gardens

Piazza della Libertà (Castel Gandolfo)


  • Lunch
  • Family
  • Training shoes
  • Reserved Entrance


Picnic in the Papal Gardens

This divine property has provided peace and quiet to more than 30 popes since it was built in the early 17th century. Get the papal treatment as you skip the line and enter the Papal Gardens. Overlooking the sapphire blue and emerald green waters of Lake Albano, this stunning complex is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Rome.

Located in tiny Castel Gandolfo, one of Italy’s most scenic towns, the Papal Palace complex spans 55 hectares - 11 more than the Vatican (which makes Pope Francis the only person whose holiday home is bigger than the country he governs).

This prime land ended up in papal hands back in 1596, when the once-mighty Savelli family lost the plot (to bankruptcy). Decades later, Pope Urban VIII ordered the construction of a country home here; the views across the lake and of the surrounding hills are spectacular.

Just recently Pope Francis, aka Cool Pope, opened a huge portion of these premises to the public. So you can spend some time admiring the lush tree-lined gardens and, of course, viewing the remains of Emperor Domitian’s residence.

The next pope might not be as open-minded, so in a few years the gardens could close to the public once again. This could be your best chance to see something that for 400 years only the Holy could See
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Meeting point:  report at Castel Gandolfo pontificial villa (Piazza della Libertà 00073) with your mobile voucher


  • Visit the fairy-tale villa where popes have come to escape the hustle and bustle of the Vatican since the 17th century
  • Tour around beautiful gardens, built into the ruins of Emperor Domitian’s own 2,000 year-old country residence
  • Enjoy lunch in the garden's picnic area, you'll have a porchetta or vegetarian sandwich to enjoy, bottled water, a wine or beer, and typical wine biscuits
What's included:
  • Entrance to the Papal Gardens
  • Picnic (sandwich with porchetta or vegetarian, beer or wine, 0.5l bottle of water + typical wine biscuits)
What's not included: 
  • Transportation to Castel Gandolfo
  • Entrance to Apostolic Palace

    • FFP2 Masks are required, please bring your own
    • All participants who are over 12 years old must present a Reinforced Green Pass that is valid in the EU and has a verifiable QR code. Reinforced Green Passes can only be obtained by proof of full vaccination or proof of a Covid-19 infection within the last 6 months.
    • All participants must also bring a valid government-issued photo ID. 
    • Temperature checks are mandatory
    • All customer touchpoints are frequently cleaned
    • To reduce crowds, the number of visitors is limited