The Vatican Gardens are urban gardens and parks which cover more than half of the Vatican territory in the South and Northeast. There are some buildings such as Radio Vatican within the gardens.
The gardens cover approximately 23 hectares (57 acres) which is most of the Vatican Hill. The highest point is 60 metres (200 ft) above mean sea level. Stone walls bound the area in the North, South and West.
You can watch my 5 min 07 sec Video Rome Vatican's gardens out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
These are quite big with several spots not accessible to the general public. A quiet ramble around the courtyard is nice, especially on a sunny Roman day. There are a few sculptures including a large Cone!
The circle of walls built by Leo IV in the mid-ninth century formed the eastern, bulwark of the populus suburb that grew up between the Tiber and St.Peter's. Today it forms part of the Vatican Gardens which are beautifully landscaped and are surrounding the buildings towards the Southern and Eastern part of the Vatican City. There are only certain opening times for visiting those gardens.
It is understandable that the nice but of course rather small Vatican Gardens are off-limits for the normal tourists but through some open windows of the Vatican Museum it is possible to get some impressions of them.
We never actually walked in the Vatican gardens, but we could look down on them from the one gallery we were in. Their landscaping is magnificent - obviously no expense spared! There are 23 hectares of beautifully landscaped garden, filled with winding paths, gorgeous flowers, huge trees, sprightly fountains and refreshing pools.
We wanted to go and view them ourselves, but we ran out of time unfortunately!
We did not take the guided tour of the Vatican City Gardens, cost E10, as we did not have enough time. However whilst on the Vatican Museum tour we often saw sections of the gardens through corridor windows.The garden looked beautiful and would be very relaxing on a hot Italian summer day. Our guide said the Pope is often seen in these gardens.
This is in one of the courtyards at the Vatican. The bronze sculpture is 4m in diameter and was the first piece of modern art to be displayed at the Vatican Museum. It was sculptured by an Italian Arnaldo Pamadoro.
The Courtyard of the Pine-Cone takes it's curious name from a huge (4m high) bronze pine-cone dating from the 1st century AD, which started it's way here from Giardini di Iside near the Pantheon. It was then moved to the hall of ancient St Peter's and finally got it's present position in the court of the Vatican Museums during the rein of Pope Julius II. It is covered by a big arch, designed by Bramante.
You can't miss the Sphere. It's right in the centre of the garden. Most of the tourists think that the sphere ( outer sphere represents the human body and inner sphere represents the human mind ) is fixed but infact it rotates on a pivot. You have to give a certain amount of force to get it going but once it starts to turn it doesn't stop immediately.
The Vatican city maintains at least three Post Offices. In St Peter's square one is behind the semicircular colonnade (on the right side as you face St. Peter's basilica), and another is along the orange wall between the colonnade and St. Peter's (on the opposite side), there are further offices inside the Vatican Museums.
The rate is exactly the same as in Italy (NB it must also be posted in the Vatican for the stamps to work), and you can always wind folks up back home that the Pope individually blesses each letter to ensure it's safe arrival.