Pope's Estate of Castel Gandolfo, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

10.5 hours | Rome (Civitavecchia) | ROM-170
From
$ 239.95
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Points of Interest

  • Colosseum
  • St. Peter's Square and Basilica
  • Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
Moderate activity

Description

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

Opened to the public for the first time in its 389-year history, the Papal Estate of Castel Gandolfo, also known as the Ville Pontificie is a sanctuary of peace, tranquility and serenity. Perched on a hillside overlooking Lake Albano the 55-hectares complex lies just 15 miles southeast of Rome yet feels a world away and centuries apart from the hustle and bustle of the Eternal City.

Behold its beauty for yourself with a day-long excursion that not only visits the revered site but also includes tours of a trio of timeless landmarks within the Vatican City.

You'll have free time to explore the quaint village of Castel Gandolfo, where the Papal Palace lies (also known as the Apostolic Palace), at your leisure, shopping for mementos and religious articles. You'll also be free to choose where you have lunch, don't forget to bring plenty of Euros to cover your expenses.

To make your day even more enjoyable be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and conservative clothing (no shorts or sleeveless tops) and don't forget to bring your camera to capture every memorable moment.

Begin your adventure back in time with an approximate one-hour and 45 minutes coach ride from Civitavecchia to the ancient town of Castel Gandolfo, believed to date back 37 centuries. In the early 12th century the area became the property of the Gandolfi family who built a palace atop the first-century ruins of Roman Emperor Domitian's grand villa.

Originally designed as a fortress to ward off marauders, it has been the church's domain since 1596, and became the official papal summer residence in 1626 when Pope Urban VIII vacationed here.

Once you reach the top, the gates of Pontifical Villas will open. You will depart onboard of an eco-friendly transportation for an orientation drive of this majestic estate. Drive around the picturesque garden dressed in spectacular blooms and edged with towering cypress trees. Marvel at the cloud-shaped crowns of umbrella pines and the blue-green of age-old cedars before moving on to the farmhouse. Covering 61 acres the farmhouse supplies olive oil, wine and fresh milk for the Vatican State's residents. In the vicinity of the Farmhouse you'll have the chance to taste one of their local produce.

At the end of your amazing tour you'll walk to Castel Gandolfo village for lunch and shopping on your own. As you steadily climb up the hill to the Papal Palace you'll have a bird's eye view of Lake Albano, a small volcanic crater lake resting at the foot of Monte Cavo.

Then, you'll rejoin your coach and take a Panoramic drive en route to the Vatican City.

Step off at the Vatican Museum for a guided tour of its rich collections before visiting the Sistine Chapel. Gaze up at the renowned ceiling and be mesmerized by Michelangelo's artwork. Last on your itinerary is a brief sojourn to St. Peter's Basilica for a visit and take the chance to purchase religious articles.

When it's time to call it a day, you'll travel back to your waiting ship.

Special Notes:

This tour is not available to passengers beginning or ending their voyage in Civitavecchia (Rome).

Not recommended for passengers on wheelchairs or with walking difficulties as extensive walking on cobblestone surfaces as well as negotiating 250 steps while visiting the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilica. The eco-friendly vehicle used for the visit of the Pontifical Villas is not wheelchair accessible.

All visitors must clear security (metal detectors) at the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilicaand at the Pontifical Villa. Large items such (bags, back-packs, etc.) cannot be taken inside Vatican Museum.

Flash photos are not permitted in the Vatican Museum. Absolutely no photograph and video permitted in the Sistine Chapel.

Proper attire that covers shoulders and legs must be worn by both men and women in the St. Peter's Basilica - mini-skirts, shorts and capri pants are not acceptable. Please note that for tour groups on visit to St. Peter's Basilica the use of headsets owned and provided by the site's management is compulsory. It is very important for guests to be aware that they will be responsible for the headset devices provided. The headsets company will charge Euro 50.00 for every missing device.

You might encounter considerable crowds, lines and delays at the venues. Should your guide determine that the queue at the St. Peter's Basilica security check point is longer than a 45-minute wait, they will forego the interior visit of the Basilica and provide you with a full explanation and description while outside. You will be provided more time during your shopping or free period to compensate for not entering the basilica. Please be aware that Basilica might close for security reason at any given time without previous notice; this is also the case on Wednesdays if the Pope chooses to hold mass services in St. Peter's Square,also in this case free time will be provided to compensate.

Entrance inside St. Peter's Basilica may not permitted if a special event or mass service is being held in the Basilica.


Basilica may be close without prior notice for security reason

Please note that the Pontifical Villas are still used by the Popes therefore for security reasons it may close at any given time without previous notice.

Tour order may vary but always covering the same sites. Free time for lunch might be provided at St. Peter's Square instead of Castel Gandolfo in case the tour will be operated in reverse order

This tour does not operate on Sundays or religious holidays.

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Board motorcoach, drive to Castel Gandolfo

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Travel time:
02:00
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No

walk to motorcoach pick up point

Transport type:
Walking
Travel time:
00:15

board motorcoach & drive to Civitavecchia

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Travel time:
01:30
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No

arrive in Castel Gandolfo, walk to Pontifical Villa

Transport type:
Walking
Time at site:
00:15
Wheelchair accessible:
No

meet local english Speaking Vatican Guide, board the eco-friendly transportation to visit the Pontifical Villa. En route stop to taste one of the organic products produced at the Pontifical Farmhouse

Transport type:
Other
Travel time:
00:15
Time at site:
01:00
Air conditioned:
No
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes

enjoy free time at Castel Gandolfo for independent lunch and exploration

Time at site:
01:00
Inside visit:
No
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes
Photo/video opportunity:
Yes

walk to motorcoach pick up point & enjoy a panoramic ride t en route to the Vatican City in Rome.

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Travel time:
01:15
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No

arrive at the Vatican area, walk to the entrance of the Vatican Museums

Transport type:
Walking
Travel time:
00:15

visit the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Time at site:
01:30
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes

Continue to St. Peter's Basilica & Inside visit

Time at site:
00:45
Wheelchair accessible:
No

walk to St. Peter's Square, time for pictures

Transport type:
Walking
Travel time:
00:30
Photo/video opportunity:
Yes