Castel Gandolfo Travel Guide

  • Another view from the terrace
    Another view from the terrace
    by icunme
  • Things to Do
    by icunme
  • Grand Vistas begin at the top of Castel Gandolfo
    Grand Vistas begin at the top of Castel...
    by icunme

Castel Gandolfo Things to Do

  • Parish Church

    Is something you can't missed is the only church in this square. The church is a simple white yet beautifully designed structure with Lutheran round tower. We haven't seen the interior of the church, the bunch of groups are just getting inside when we arrive.

  • The Apostolic Palace

    They called it papal summer residence because it was to be comfortable to live, hot in Rome during the summer, many popes traveled at that time to higher places. Always, they were staying over as a guest in castles and palaces of cardinals or other nobles. However Urbanus longed for a private summer residence. He chose Castel Gandolfo because he...

  • Piazza del Plebiscito

    The square is where you have a good view of the historical monument. Here, you'll dozens of local shops, restaurants and cafes. And this is also a place where visitors gather. There were a small fountain in the middle and a Christmas tree, although it didn't looked so impressive standing in this squareIn Piazza del Plebiscito is where you can...

  • Church of San Tommaso di Villanova

    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...

  • GANDOLFO Via Saponara - candy for your...

    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!)

  • Walk up the hill to Papal entrance

    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...

  • Papal Blessing at Castel Gandolfo -...

    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...

  • Capuccino with the locals

    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

  • Enjoy the view of Lago Albano

    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

  • Panoramic vistas unparalled

    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!

  • Take a bath in the Lake of Albano

    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.

  • The View to the Lake

    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...

  • Swiss Guard

    .... 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...

  • Papal Audience II

    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...

  • Papal Audience

    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.


Castel Gandolfo Hotels

  • Hotel Castel Gandolfo

    Via de Zecchini 27, Castel Gandolfo, 00040, Italy

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Business

  • Castelvecchio

    Viale Pio X 23, Castel Gandolfo, 00040, Italy

    Satisfaction: Poor

    Good for: Couples

  • Hotel la Culla del Lago

    Hotel La Culla del Lago, Castel Gandolfo We found this place by accident while looking for a quiet,...


Castel Gandolfo Restaurants

  • Pizza & Sfizi Napoletani

    The best pizza I've ever had !! No doubt !!Pizza a forno a legna !It's the good pizza alta ( the high bottom ), how the original Napoletan pizza should be.Every morning from Battipaglia ( south of Napels ) arrives the fresh mozzarella di bufala ( buffel mozzarella-cheese ).Everyone, who's in Castel Gandolfo and didn't try this pizza.........has...

  • Best pizza ever. Really.

    I loved this pizzeria although the hours were odd and often unreliable. Were they closed on mondays? It seemed like they were always renovating. The owners are incredible too. I met them on more than one occasion. The pizza is fantastic and the service is wonderful.As the previous reviewer mentioned, it is located next to an American University,...

  • Great Experience

    This is the best restaurant I have been to so far in 31 years of my life! www.pagnanelli.itNot the typical restaurant, more like a country style restaurant, it has got 10 rooms with lake views on the top also owned by the family.It's a restaurant that has been there since 1882, 4 generations have kept the restaurant going with regional and...


Castel Gandolfo Transportation

  • Taking the train from Rome to Castel...

    At Going by train from Rome to Castel GandolfoI have written a Travelogue that describe in words and photos how to get from Rome to Castel Gandolfo.

  • Castel Gandolfo from Rome

    Castel Gandolfo is 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of Rome and the best way, if you have the option, is by car - then you can drive comfortably around the lake and villages. We returned from CG to Rome on a Saturday evening with no traffic in about 25 minutes. However, it can be reached by bus from Anagnina Metro station via COTRAL, which would...

  • to get there..

    Just easy.....take METROPOLITANA A to ANAGNINA.then take COTRAL BLUE BUS to CastelGandolfo.About 30-40 minutes ride.Buy the Cotral ticket at newspaper stall in the metro station, from the exit gate turns right and on the left side, you'll see the stall.1 EURO for one way ride!


Castel Gandolfo Favorites

  • The third crater !

    The third crater, we used to live here in a residence called ' miragolf '.We still have a little apartment there, now used for renting to other people.The third crater is also a big golf complex ( exclusive ) with some little lakes inside. Look over the you see the the pope's summerpalace ?

  • The pope's palace

    The pope is staying the month of august in Castel Gandolfo.When he's feeling well, he is doing the mess on sundaymorning.The swiss guardians are opening the gate and about 100 people can enter inside the palace to hear the pope speaking.It's a very nice experience, because at that moment your are very close to the pope and surrounded by all very...

  • See the Pope

    While the Pope is in residence (generally late July through August), when possible, he holds the equivalent of a "general" audience. In Rome, the general audience is held on Sundays near noon, when the Pope speaks from his apartment windows to the crowds in St. Peter's Square. Here in Castel Gandolfo, the space and the feeling are considerably more...


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Comments (7)

  • Updated Comment
    mccalpin's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    Did you know that after Pope Benedict formally leaves his office at 20:00 on February 28, 2013, that he will retire for a short while to Castel Gandolfo to put his papers and affairs in order, before retiring to a monastery in the Vatican?

    Bill McCalpin
    Castel Gandolfo Travel Editor

    Other comments
  • mccalpin's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    The Vatican Press Office reported today that Pope Benedict, as his final act on February 28th, will depart from the helipad in Vatican City about 5 p.m., to make the relatively short trip to Castel Gandolfo, the summer home of the Popes in the Castelli Romani (see Castel Gandolfo Travel Guide ).

    According to the Press Office, Benedict will be greeted at Castel Gandolfo by the mayor and various dignitaries, then will speak to the public from a balcony at the Papal Palace. Assuming that he speaks to the people before 8 p.m., this will technically be the last public appearance of Benedict while he is still Pope (his resignation will be effective as of 8 p.m. that evening).

    Look at the Castel Gandolfo Travel Guide (above) for tips on how to get out to Castel Gandolfo from Rome.

    Bill McCalpin
    Vatican City Travel Editor

  • mccalpin's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Did you know that the parish church in Castel Gandolfo - the church of San Tommaso da Villanova - is on a Greek key cross plan, and was designed by Bernini?

  • mccalpin's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Did you know that the guidebook "I Borghi più belli d'Italia" (The Most Beautiful Cities in Italy) lists Castel Gandolfo as one of the most beautiful cities in the region of Lazio? See

    • giampiero6's Profile Photo
      Jan 1, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      cool...I still have been meaning to get up there. my mom loves it!

  • mccalpin's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2012 at 5:55 AM

    Did you know that the Via Sacra (the "Holy Road") in the Roman Forum supposedly went all the way in antiquity to Alba Longa, the ancestral home of the Roman people? Castel Gandolfo is the likely location today of Alba Longa.

  • mccalpin's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Did you know that the rowing and canoeing events of the 1960 Summer Olympic Games (Rome) were actually hosted at Lago Albano, the volcanic crater lake that is just below Castel Gandolfo?

    • giampiero6's Profile Photo
      Dec 14, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      I love it...that would have been so much more scenic. I think that in the Paris Olympics, the swimming or diving competitions were held in the Seine!

  • mccalpin's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Did you know that the Vatican has an observatory in the Papal Palace at Castel Gandolfo? See

    • giampiero6's Profile Photo
      Dec 11, 2012 at 7:59 AM

      Cool. I think it's actually manned by Jesuit scientists too!

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