Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo

Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo: Address, Phone Number, Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo Reviews: 4.5/5

Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo

Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo
4.5
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4.5
1,005 reviews
Excellent
502
Very good
351
Average
98
Poor
29
Terrible
25

Sharon H
Las Vegas, NV2,075 contributions
Amazing historic papal residence--see it now while it is open
May 2019
Castel Gandolfo was declared property of the Holy See in the 13th century, but the castle was not built until the 17th century when other villas and cottages were being built in this area. It was renovated by Pope Pius XI in 1929 and has been used as the pope’s summer residence since them. During WWII 40 babies were born in the bedroom here, to mothers trying to escape the Nazis. Pope John Paul recovered from his injuries here when he was shot in 1980. The current Pope Francis declared that it should be open to the public since he preferred to stay in Rome and work. As we entered the gates of the Apostolic Palace, we passed the small fleet of Mercedes cars used by the Pope and the “Popemobile” with the bulletproof shell. Continuing, we made our way through display rooms showing the costumes of the Swiss Guards, the portable throne used to carry the pope in processions, and other items used by the pope. Next came galleries with portraits of all the popes, followed by a lovely cream, yellow, and gold waiting room where guests who had an audience with the pope were taken first. From there, we went through a series of waiting rooms (ante-rooms). A group of people might be granted an audience, but ultimately only one would actually see the pope. The others in the group would go as far as their “status/permission” allowed them and would wait in their assigned ante-room. The last ante-room was normally reserved for the wife of the man who had the audience. Finally came the magnificent throne room where the pope received the person granted an audience. Following that, all rooms were private. The general public was not allowed—only his private secretaries. A series of offices came next—some with elaborate desks and bookshelves and others with much simpler furniture. Then the pope’s bedroom, which was a bright and airy corner room with creamy yellow walls and mint-green drapes on four large windows. The furniture—a large bed, wardrobe, desk, and table with chairs—was made of beautifully carved wood and looked comfortable and lived-in. The bedroom opened onto a lovely little chapel with an altar and the pope’s own chair and kneeler. Following the chapel was a large gallery which led us back to the square outside. We really enjoyed being able to see this historic place. We have been to Italy on many previous occasions, but Castel Gandolfo was never open to the public before—and could be closed again, at the discretion of the pope. Don’t pass up the opportunity to see it if you can!
Written 23 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Fleur
Rome, Italy12 contributions
geometric perfection and breathtaking view
Jun 2019
I loved the gardens of the Pope's summer residence. I even visited it when it wasn't accessible for the public yet. It's a real hidden paradise for garden lovers.
Written 21 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Venus234
32 contributions
not too impressive or grand
Jul 2019
After having visited Vatican museums and Borghese gallery in Rome, the pontifical villas of Castel Gandolfo, a.k.a., Pope's summer residence, failed to impress me. It is not very grand, be it from architectural point of view or decoration and interior. I found it rather plain and basic, even the exhibits were of little interest to me.

As far as the ticket is concerned, you need to buy a separate ticket for the gardens and for the pontifical villas. I skipped the gardens for lack of time. The villa was moderately crowded with tourists. The vending machine placed right beyond the ticket counter was a disappointment for despite multiple tries and even after help of the guards/staff available at the location, I failed to get a drink out of it. It was dysfunctional.

I missed the gardens because I was on a day trip from Rome. I reached Castel Gandolfo around 11 and planned to return after lunch. so i only had enough time to tour the insides of the pontifical villas.

I will also be posting a review about the town castel gandolfo, which i enjoyed a lot. I cherish my visit to this town, despite the pontifical villas being less than impressive.
Written 17 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

sakkara11
Cairo, Egypt591 contributions
What a beautiful garden!
Nov 2019 • Friends
Driving with an open bus for 50 minutes is really worth the 20 Euros. You drive, where for 300 years the Popes found some rest. Typical Italian Garden of the 18th century onwards! I loved it very much!!
Written 8 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cruiserWarrington
Warrington25 contributions
More 'free time' than time in Papal apartments
Oct 2019
We visited on an excursion from a cruise ship, so it was a 2 hour bus journey to get there. When we went into the palace, there was a huge row (in Italian, which we do not speak) between our guides and the security guards. We were then rushed round the palace in well under an hour. The guide was typically describing a room which I had not yet aarrived at, because she was moving very fast and the rooms were sometimes very small. These were supposedly the private apartments but we never saw anything practical, like an arm-chair. I learnt nothing.
The gardens were pleasant and the lunch nothing special. We were then left in the tiny town for over an hour - less time than in the apartments. Not worth $249!!!!
Written 11 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

christine j
15 contributions
Beautiful
Sep 2019
The gardens were not at their best as we visited mid September nonetheless, they were spectacular and how they had been developed was very interesting. The villa was worth a visit but do not expect to see the Sistine Chapel or the Vatican museum but the views are amazing and if you wish to brush up on your knowledge of Popes, this is the place to go.
Written 2 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Manas R
Cedar Rapids, IA355 contributions
Beautiful papal garden
Aug 2019 • Friends
We stopped by with our tour group at this beautiful place for a visit and lunch as well.
This place was not open to the public before, only recently it has been opened to the public. We walked around the complex guided by an officer. There were some ancient ruins. The garden was very beautiful with manicured geometric shape. In the middle of our trip the sky became overcast and it started raining . So we took shelter at the garden house for a lunch. During our lunch, the rain turned into a hailstorm with nice size hails, The cafeteria workers were prompt to save the lunch for us.
Written 25 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Manuela L
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg7,091 contributions
Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo / Italy
Oct 2018
Nice gardens, but it's not like Vatcan gardens, but has a nice view, an italian palace with nice private rooms with paitings of some popes, a history visit.
Written 13 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

PointerDetroit
Detroit, MI761 contributions
Not to be Missed
Sep 2019
It is a bus tour for less than an hour. You are given an audio guide that the human guide tells you precisely what number to enter at each particular view of the gardens. It is finely coordinated. The gardens are quite varied with manicured Italian designed gardens to pine tree tunnels to fountains in perfect spots to Roman ruins.
Written 11 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Si Lo Veo lo digo
Rome, Italy78 contributions
Breathtaking
Sep 2019 • Couples
We first visited the garden and then the pontifical house. The gardens are amazing. No words to describe the place, you need to be there to enjoy the view and the beautiful well maintain gardens. The whole tour in the gardens take around 45min. We took the 10am tour. Really nice, not so hot and perfect day light.
Written 8 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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