New train tour from Vatican to Castel Gandolfo

Vatican launching train tour from Vatican City to Castel Gandolfo gardens.

The Vatican Museums is launching a new tour by train from the Vatican train station directly to the papal gardens at Castel Gandolfo, 25 km south-east of Rome. This marks the first time the Vatican has offered a regularly-scheduled passenger service.

The so-called Full Day in the Vatican tours start on 12 September and are scheduled for Saturdays only. They begin with a visit to the Vatican Museums, with priority entrance.

Participants will then spend an hour in the Vatican Gardens before boarding a train from the nearby Vatican City train station, which is linked to the Stazione S. Pietro across the bridge in Italy. In the past the elegant train station built inside the Vatican walls in the early 1930s, has been reserved almost exclusively for papal use.

After the train journey to Albano Laziale, passengers will be transferred by shuttle bus to the Pontifical Villas in Castel Gandolfo, which opened to the public in March last year.

castel gandolfo

The 30-hectare gardens feature ancient Roman ruins dating back to Emperor Domitian, a square of holly oaks, paths of roses and aromatic herbs, and a magnolia garden, as well as spectacular views over Lake Albano. Castel Gandolfo has been a holiday retreat for popes since the 17th century however for the last two years Pope Francis has broken with tradition by spending the summer at his residence at the Vatican's S. Marta guesthouse.

At the end of the tour, participants will be returned to the S. Pietro train station in Rome. The total package costs €40, with audio-guides offered in English, Italian and Spanish. More information on this tour and others can be found on the Vatican Museums website.