Papal Residence at Castel Gandolfo Opens to the Public

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 21:15

Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence, has been opened to the public.

Located in the Castelli Romani area, 15 miles south-east of Rome, the 55-hectare complex includes the Barberini gardens, the papal palace, a 62-acre farm, and the remains of Emperor Domitian’s villa.

The area was given to the Vatican following the Lateran Pacts of 1929. It has been used as a suburban residence by popes since the 17th century. However, in breaking with tradition, Pope Francis last year only went there three times (one was to meet with former pope Benedict XVI a few days after Francis' election) and never stayed overnight, unlike previous popes who had used it as their summer residence.

Tours are guided and cost €26; gardens are open in the morning, Monday through Saturday. Tours can be booked online on the Vatican Museums website.