Vatican Museums & Pope’s Summer House Full Day Trip

Includes Lunch, Vatican Gardens and Train tickets

This Vatican experience features a tour of the Vatican Museums, followed by a day trip to the Pope’s summer residence. Enjoy round-trip transportation from Rome and a locally-sourced buffet lunch in Castel Gandolfo, both included with the tour.


This is a walking tour and involves walking through gardens and grounds as well as occasionally up and down stairs

11 h
max 15
from 4 reviews
1 Vatican Museums Tour
2 Sistine Chapel
3 Vatican Gardens
4 A Relaxing Train Ride
5 Castel Gandolfo Gardens
6 A Miniature Colosseum
7 A Secret Tunnel for the Pope
8 Lunch! eat like the Pope
9 The First Post Office in the World
10 The Pope's Summer Residence
11 The Pope's Costumes
12 Papal Pinacoteca
13 Palace Audience Rooms
14 Pope's Personal Office
15 The Pope's Bedroom
16 Return Home on the Train


Food & Wine
Pre-Opening Entrance
Sistine Chapel
Primary Galleries
Raphael Rooms
Borgia Apartments
Pio Clementino
Pope's Summer House
Vatican Gardens

Place yourself in the Pope’s shoes and envision life as pontiff of the Catholic Church. Go beyond the Vatican Museums and see the Pope’s summer residence on this day trip from Rome. Explore the gorgeous hilltop town of Castel Gandolfo, overlooking Lake Albano. This exclusive day trip begins at the Vatican Museums, continuing through the Vatican Gardens before proceeding by train to Castel Gandolfo. This full-day Vatican  experience includes:

  • - An early access, skip the line Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel tour
  • - Delicious organic lunch
  • - Round trip train tickets to Castel Gandolfo
  • - An English-speaking guide with expertise in art history
  • - Tickets to the Pope’s summer residence

Skip the Line Vatican Tour 

You’ll start your day bright and early as you meet your tour guide at the Vatican Museums to skip the line and enter forty-five minutes before the general public. After going through a brief security check, you’ll proceed right inside to begin your tour.

The Vatican Museum's Best Galleries

As you proceed to the Sistine Chapel, you’ll explore the Vatican Museums’ most beautiful galleries: the Gallery of the Tapestries, the Gallery of the Candelabra and the Gallery of the Maps. You’ll see frescoes depicting the geography of the Italian peninsula that predate a unified Italy by almost three centuries.

Visit the Incredible Sistine Chapel

As part of the Vatican Tour, you’ll experience Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Stand in awe at the iconic meticulous frescoes that adorn the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. You’ll be amazed at how Michelangelo spent four years painting The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement while lying on his back. Our knowledgeable guides will tell you fascinating stories about the history of each painting.

The Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, therefore, speaking inside is not allowed. Since our guide cannot explain the frescoes while you are inside, we explain the Chapel in advance and provide you with a map/handout for reference before you enter. Men and women must cover their knees and shoulders before entering. We understand the summers in Rome get hot, a good alternative is to bring a scarf or shawl to cover up with before you enter.

An Exclusive Stroll in the Vatican Gardens 

Your tour will continue to the Vatican Gardens, where only special tour groups are allowed to visit. With your highly-demanded Vatican Gardens tickets, you’ll breathe in the tranquil air of this mini paradise. Stroll through the Vatican Gardens’ grottoes, landscaping and over 100 fountains. You’ll see jaw-dropping views of St. Peter’s Basilica away from the crowds – very few visitors are permitted inside the Vatican Gardens. Once your Vatican Gardens tour is finished, you’ll enter Vatican City’s only train station to board the train to Castel Gandolfo.   

Vatican City to Castel Gandolfo Train

You’ll board the train departing from Stazione di Città del Vaticano as a special guest of the Vatican, the only people allowed to board. Enjoy the scenic ride through the Castelli Romani Hills to Castel Gandolfo. This is the perfect opportunity for you to rest and relax before the second half of this day trip. Your train will arrive at the Castel Gandolfo Train Station, where you will board a bus to the Barberini Gardens and the Apostolic Palace (the Pope’s summer residence).

Barberini Gardens at Castel Gandolfo 

After a bus ride up the hill, you’ll visit the marvelous Barberini Gardens. Once the site of Emperor Domitian’s Villa, the Barberini Gardens boast beautifully-designed hedges situated amidst flowers, fountains and Ancient Roman ruins. Your guide will tell you stories about the history of the gardens and the many points of interest located within. Experience firsthand the mastery of landscape design that the Barberini Gardens boast.

A Feast Fit for the Pope Himself

Once you’ve explored the lush scenery of the Barberini Gardens, the tour will break for lunch (included with the tour). You’ll sit down to a sumptuous spread of locally-sourced, organic Italian meats, cheeses, olive oil, tomatoes and pasta. Many of the organic ingredients from the tour’s lunch are available for purchase to enjoy later.

Explore the Pope's Summer Residence

After lunch, you are free to explore the scenic town of Castel Gandolfo. Overlooking the immaculate Lake Albano, Castel Gandolfo boasts an array of shops, restaurants, art galleries and cafes. The opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence, is also available. Now a museum open to the public, visitors will enjoy exploring the Palace’s many rooms, art galleries, and collection of cars driven by former popes. Once you’ve finished basking in Castel Gandolfo’s unspoiled splendor, a bus will take you back down the hill to the train station. Unwind after your long day and enjoy the scenery on the train ride to Rome’s San Pietro Train Station.
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