Castel Gandolfo Things to Do

  • Another view from the terrace
    Another view from the terrace
    by icunme
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    by icunme
  • Things to Do
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Most Recent Things to Do in Castel Gandolfo

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    Church of San Tommaso di Villanova

    by icunme Updated Aug 24, 2009

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    The church of San Tommaso di Villanova is right there in Piazza Liberta, just a short way from the Papal Palace and it is credited to Bernini. Well worth a visit inside. The church was built in 1659 and is one of the masterpieces of Gian-lorenzo Bernini, who just happens to be my one of my favorites. With a Greek-cross baseand important stuccos realized by Antonio Raggi - they frame the works of Pietro da Cortona, Giacinto Gemignani, Guglielmo Cortese. The Crypt below has other interesting frescos dating back to XV century.
    Photo 1 - Exterior
    Photo 2 - Interior altar
    Photo 3 - Marble floor

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    GANDOLFO Via Saponara - candy for your camera

    by icunme Written Aug 24, 2009

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    Via Saponara is a path down the right side from the terrace facing the lake - here you will see views that your camera will devour with much delight.
    (Trekky - this is especially for you, my friend!)

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    Walk up the hill to Papal entrance

    by icunme Updated Aug 24, 2009

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    Pathway up to Papal Palace entrance
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    Your virtual tour with me begins here, on the path up to the Papal Palace. Once you have made the short trip from Rome to Castel Gandolfo by car or by bus, you will alight at the bottom of a short hill where there is parking and the Cotral bus stop - from there, the path leads up to the Pope's residence. Enjoy the ascent and stop by the Tourist Information kiosk along the way - you will find interesting information about the Castelli Romani (12 towns along Lake Albano) - the lake itself - medieval villages (especially the most charming Rocca di Papa).

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    Papal Blessing at Castel Gandolfo - Aug/Sept

    by icunme Updated Aug 24, 2009

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    Pope gives blessing August 23, 2009
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    Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during the Angelus prayer from his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009 - his first public appearance since having the cast removed from his broken right wrist. The pontiff jokingly said that his hand was "freed" but still a bit lazy. He clearly favored his left hand while blessing the people gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence, but he was able to bless the crowd with his right hand. The wrist remained covered with a white bandage.

    Following is the August & September schedule for the Pope's appearance and Papal Blessing in the Piazza at Castel Gandolfo
    August 23
    Angelus and Papal Blessing 12:00 PM - at Castel Gandolfo
    August 26
    Papal Audience
    August 30
    Angelus and Papal Blessing 12:00 PM at Castel Gandolfo
    (NAC New Men were presented to the Pope in 2008)
    September 2009 (Important Info for Summer 2009)

    September 2
    Papal Audience
    September 6
    Angelus and Blessing 12:00 PM - at Castel Gandolfo
    September 9
    Papal Audience
    September 13
    Angelus and Papal Blessing 12:00 PM - at Castel Gandolfo
    September 16
    Papal Audience
    September 20
    Angelus and Papal Blessing 12:00 PM at Castel Gandolfo
    Photo 2 - Papal Residence entrance with Swiss Guard
    Photo 3 - Piazza Liberta facing Papal Residence
    Photo 4 - Papal Entrance close-up

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    Capuccino with the locals

    by icunme Written Aug 24, 2009

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    Enjoy an outdoor cafe along the way
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    Looking away from the Papal Palace, at the other end of Piazza Liberta, you will see this lovely cobblestone pathway with many outdoor cafes and lots of conversation flowing.
    Photo 2 - Far end of Piazza Liberta

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    Enjoy the view of Lago Albano

    by icunme Written Aug 24, 2009

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    We asked a kind gentleman to take a photo of us on the terrace - and here is the view of Lago Albano from the upper city Castel Gandolfo - just below the Piazza Liberta.
    Photo 2 - Best view

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    Panoramic vistas unparalled

    by icunme Written Aug 24, 2009

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    As you exit the Church of San Tomas in Piazza Liberta, make an immediate left to the top of the little cobblestone pathway and you will be greeted by this spectacular vista - it will draw you down and into it - to the terrace where you will see the vast expanse of Lago Albano. Have your camera handy!

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    Take a bath in the Lake of Albano

    by Tetreus Written Nov 12, 2005

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    In the summer we always went to the lake of Albano.........swimming or just taking the sun on the beach.

    In the weekends it can be crowdy and you have to come early to find a parkingplace, during the week it's very quiet.

    Not only swimming can be down, you can also rent a canoe or a little sailingboat.
    Lessons are also available.

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    • Kayaking
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    The View to the Lake

    by LuisGuimaraes Written Nov 2, 2004

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    Lake Albano is the reason why this region is called "Colli Albani", and the views over it from several villages are very nice, specially from Castelgandolfo.

    Look @ it through the houses, walk in the path above and parallel to it, try and go down if you have strength!

    Wonderful mountain and peaceful atmosphere, for a great day-out of town! And Rome and its movement ask for some relax!

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    Swiss Guard

    by btrix Written Sep 15, 2004

    .... The Guard serves not only as a Guard of Honour but also keep order every time the Pope is in public, that is for liturgical celebrations in St. Peter's Basilica, at the General Audiences.

    "I swear I will faithfully, loyally and honourably serve the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II and his legitimate successors, and also dedicate myself to them with all my strength, sacrificing if necessary also my life to defend them. I assume this same commitment with regard to the Sacred College of Cardinals whenever the See is vacant.

    Furthermore I promise to the Commanding Captain and my other superiors, respect, fidelity and obedience. This I swear! May God and our Holy Patrons assist me!"

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    Papal Audience II

    by btrix Updated Sep 15, 2004

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    Summer Audiences at Castel Gandolfo do not require tickets
    but you must journey out of Rome in order to attend.

    The Audience starts at 10.30pm!
    And lasts about 30minutes....

    **Pleae note :
    For each of Summer Audience, the Papal Household
    will make the decision the day before.
    Whether the Holy Father will come to Rome or hold
    the event at Castel Gandolfo.

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    Papal Audience

    by btrix Written Sep 15, 2004

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    Since the summer weather is too hot to stay in Rome,
    The Pope comes to this place during the summer time.

    So for The Papal Audience, every wednesday, which scheduled held in Paul VI Hall to the left of St. Peter's Square, will also changed to this Papal Summer residence.

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    The Papal Palace

    by mccalpin Written Feb 7, 2004

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    Papal Palace

    As noted, the Pope has a palace in Castel Gandolfo where he normally spends 6 weeks or so in the summer. When the Pope is in residence, you'll notice a sharp increase in well-armed Italian carabinieri in and around the town - the sight of uniformed men carrying submachine guns is hard to miss.

    In addition, the Pope, of course, has his own police force - the Swiss Guards. The Swiss Guards are only noticeable while the Pope is in residence. Here, two guards form a colorful backdrop.

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Castel Gandolfo Things to Do

mccalpin's Profile Photo
There are basically three things to do in Castel Gandolfo:
  • visit the Pope in his summer palace (generally late July to early September),
  • have lunch in one of the restaurants...

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