Have you ever wondered what the Pope's life is really like? Most tourists visit the Vatican Museums, but why not take a step further? Join us on a day trip from Rome to the Pope’s opulent summer residence in the gorgeous hilltop town of Castel Gandolfo. This exclusive day trip from Rome not only covers the highlights of the Vatican Museums, but also the Vatican Gardens, Barberini Gardens, and the Pope's summer residence. This ultimate full day Vatican experience includes a delicious locally-sourced lunch and train tickets to Castel Gandolfo. This is a great family-friendly tour for kids that are able to handle an entire day of sightseeing.
Skip the Line Vatican Tour Your day begins early in the morning, as you meet your guide in front of the Vatican Museums. After you make introductions with your small group, skip the line and enter the Vatican Museums forty-five minutes before the general public is allowed inside. When we say "skip the line", we mean it. On our tours, you enter the museum without any hassle, and jump right into the art inside. On this Vatican tour, we visit the Gallery of Candelabras, the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Raphael Rooms and the magnificent Sistine Chapel. Visit the Incredible Sistine Chapel Since it is part of the Vatican Tour, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel is included in your tickets. It is here that Michelangelo toiled for four years on his back painting these world-famous and inspiring frescoes. Only when you enter the Sistine Chapel is it clear how high the ceiling is and how many paintings are up there. Important! Since the Sistine Chapel is considered sacred, we ask both men and women to their cover knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry and miss out on a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Rome can be hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary. Vatican City to Castel Gandolfo Train After touring the Vatican Gardens, climb aboard the train that departs straight from Vatican City for a relaxing and scenic ride through the green Castelli Romani hills. After a busy morning, this is an excellent opportunity to rest and recharge for the second portion of the day's activities. After an hour, your train arrives at the Castel Gandolfo Train Station. Barberini Gardens at Castel Gandolfo Now it's time to experience the enchanting Barberini Gardens from a bus and by foot. Built over the ruins of Emperor Domitian’s Villa, the gardens are now open to the public as a gesture of goodwill by Pope Francis. These unbelievable gardens are filled with carefully tended hedges, fountains, flowers and ancient Roman ruins. A Feast Fit for the Pope Himself Are you hungry yet? It's time for a buffet lunch comprised of cheeses, meats, bruschetta with olive oil and fresh tomatoes and pasta locally-sourced from the surrounding land. Lunch is included in the tour price. Explore the Pope's Summer Residence With a full belly, you are now free to explore the picturesque town of Castel Gandolfo, situated at the top of hill that overlooks the pristine Lake Albano. There are shops, restaurants, art galleries, bars and cafes to shop and relax in. This is also your opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the Pope's summer residence, which is now a museum.