The Papal palace of Castel Gandolfo

The summer residence of the Popes

Within the 55 hectares of the complex of papal villas is the apostolic palace of Castel Gandolfo, in a pleasant spot chosen in Roman times by Emperor Domitian for his suburban villa and, from the time of Urban VIII Barberini in 1626, by the popes as their summer residence. Since 1929 it has become an extraterritorial Vatican domain, and only in recent years has Pope Francis opened its rooms to the public, transforming them into a museum.

From the Portrait Gallery to the piano nobile: the public and private rooms of the popes

From the Portrait Gallery, which allows us to retrace 500 years of the history of the Popes, to the numerous testimonies that offer us the possibility of reconstructing the traditions of papal ceremonial, we will go up to the main floor where the public and private flats have remained as they were during the stay of the last Popes who summered here. We will go through the same rooms of the illustrious guests who have been received by His Holiness throughout history: from the Salone degli Svizzeri to the Salottino Verde, passing through the Throne Room where the Pope has received heads of state and ambassadors, to then enter the most intimate and private part such as the bedroom where some women gave birth during the Second World War.

The square, Bernini’s church and Lake Albano in Castel Gandolfo.

We will end our visit in Piazza della Libertà with the enchanting Church of San Tommaso da Villanova by Gianlorenzo Bernini, after contemplating a suggestive and fascinating view of Lake Albano, which contributes to make Castel Gandolfo one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

Don’t Forget

The Papal Palace has the following opening hours:
November to mid-April open Mon-Fri 8.30am-1pm; Sat 8.30am-4.30pm; closed Sun.
Mid-April to October
Monday to Friday, 8.30am-1.00pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed on religious holidays, also closed on 19 March, 29 June and 14 and 15 August.

  • Qualified guide
  • Full assistance
  • Personalised tour
  • Full price for individuals: 11,00 euros per person
  • Reduced price for individuals: 5,00 euros (children from 6 to 18 years old, students up to 25 years old)
  • Free: for children from 0 to 5 years old


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