Vatican Museums, Vatican Gardens and Castel Gandolfo Villa Barberini Tour
Have a Papal experience and visit Vatican Museums, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Villa Barberini! Ride in the train usually reserved for Popes, the Swiss Guard, and citizens of the Vatican.
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Under Pope Francis I, the Vatican has opened up a number of sights not usually open to visitors, including the Villa Barberini grounds. On this new, Papal Experience Tour, you go beyond the normal tourist route for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience those parts of the Vatican that few have ever seen!
- Duration: 10.5 hour(s)
- Available: Sat
- Pick-up: Not available
- Inclusion: Audio tour of the Vatican Museums / Tour of the Vatican Gardens / Tour of the Villa Barberini Gardens / Skip the line entrance to the Vatican Museums / Admission to the Vatican Gardens & Villa Barberini Gardens / Roundtrip transportation from the Vatican to Villa Barberini / Admission to Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo
Package detail / Schedule Close
Schedule & Location
Time & Location
Time & Location
07:30 Check-in and meet your guide
07:45 Papal Experience TourYour day starts at the Vatican Museums 1 hour before they open to the public. Skipping the lines you’ll get straight inside for a 2-hour, audio-guided tour. Your tour leader will accompany you along the way to make sure you don’t get lost and make sure you see all the highlights of the museums.
Go outside to the private Vatican GardensPope's have been coming to these gardens for quiet contemplation since 1279. Enjoy a stroll around the gardens, passing manicured lawns and seeing exotic flowers and plants gifted to the Pope by visiting nations. Catch glimpses of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican City beyond!
Ride the newly-restored Papal train from the Vatican City (45 minutes)Usually reserved for Popes, the Swiss Guard, and Vatican citizens, this exclusive train will whisk you off to the town that houses the Pope’s summer palace: Castel Gandolfo. Located between lake and mountains, it’s a stunning retreat from the chaos of Rome - a fitting location for contemplation.
A short shuttle gets you to the Villa BarberiniBuilt on the ruins of Emperor Domitian’s 1st century palace, the grounds here, which Pope Francis has opened to the public for the very first time, are a marvel of landscaping and archaeology.
Enjoying stunning views of the lake followed by lunchAfter a descriptive walking tour of the gardens, your tour leader will leave you to enjoy free-time where you can find something for lunch.
Spend an hour wandering around the Apostolic PalaceWith an audio guide you’ll learn about the generations of Popes who have summered in this amazing residence and see some of the incredible costumes that their position has commanded. Your tour leader will pick you up and escort you back to Roma San Pietro Station on the train.
17:45 Tour ends back in Rome
What languages are your tours conducted in?
- English. This tour does not operate in multi-language, which means you’ll never have to wait for translations.
How will I recognize my tour guide?
- Either your tour guide or a tour coordinator will be waiting at the tour meeting point 15 minutes before your tour start time. They will be holding up a sign with the Walks of Italy logo on it.
What If I’m running late to my tour?
- We ask all guests to arrive at the tour meeting point at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of their tour. If you have difficulty finding the meeting point or are delayed along the way, please call the emergency phone number, (Italy) +39-069-480-4888 not the regular customer service number.
How far in advance should I book my tour?
- It’s hard to say. We recommend booking as soon as you can as these services often sell out in advance and have limited-availability. If you know what tour you want to book though, we would always say to book as soon as you can.
The tour description says tour is 'all-inclusive'. What does that mean?
- It means the tour price listed on our website includes all ticket, reservation and entrance fees. There won’t be any nasty surprises on the day of your tour, so you could leave your wallet at home (unless you felt like tipping your tour guide).
Do you accept last-minute bookings?
- When we have space! Check the website for availability first. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there is a chance that it's sold out or it may just be off-sale because it's within a day or two of tour running time.
Should I tip my tour guide?
- It’s really up to you. If you enjoyed your tour and feel like you received exemplary service from your guide, it is customary to leave a tip at the end of the tour. It’s not obligatory though and we won’t hold it against you if you don't – nor will your guide.
Can I take your tours if I have walking difficulties or require a wheelchair?
- Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate wheelchairs on most of our group tours for a variety reasons. That said, in most cases we can serve wheelchair users on our private tours, to allow the guide to adapt the route to their particular requirements. Please get in touch with us before you book, however, and be aware that guests are responsible for propelling their own chairs – guides will be unable to do this.
I am traveling with a small child – can I bring a stroller with me?
- Not on all tours. Please get in touch with our us before bringing a stroller on your tour. Some sites will not allow you to bring a stroller inside and we may not have suitable storage options. If you let us know in advance we can help you to arrange a suitable solution.
What should I bring on my tour?
- We recommend all customers bring photo ID with their date of birth listed plus the confirmation voucher. For all tours involving walking, we would recommend that you wear comfortable shoes. If you’re visiting in warm weather (May – Sep) we recommend that you bring sunscreen, a bottle of water (which you can refill along the way) and a hat. During the cooler months we would recommend that you bring a coat and possibly a rain jacket and/or umbrella.
It’s raining, is my tour still running?
- Yes! The tours run rain or shine. On some very rare occasions, when the weather is particularly dramatic, some outdoor sites may be closed. On these occasions we will try to contact you in advance, where we have warning.
What’s the difference between a ‘group’ and a ‘private’ tour?
- A group tour is one where you join a group of other travellers and a single guide – our groups are usually around 12 people, although they can be a little larger, particularly on day trips. Because our groups are so small, you’ll still find it easy to hear and interact with your guide and it's more effective than a private tour, which is when you pay to have your own personal tour guide (and/or transfer) just for you.
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- Any cancellations made after 00:00 local time, 3 business days prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount.