Why visit Castel Gandolfo

There is a consensus of opinion that Castel Gandolfo is one of the most scenic towns in Italy. Nestled between the Alban Hills and overlooking Lago Albano, since the first half of the 17th century Castel Gandolfo has been best known as the historical summer retreat of the popes, being also part of the Castelli Romani region (in fact, it is deemed the most popular town in Castelli Romani, meaning it is the favorite of most of the tourists curious about the patrimony of the region). The town dozes peacefully in the picturesque embrace of the hills covered with lush vegetation, some 10 kilometers south of the capital, being an ideal destination for tourists tired of the urban hustle of Rome.

There’s nothing spectacularly dynamic in Castel Gandolfo, but this is precisely why the town is often chosen by holidaymakers of the capital: a peaceful refuge where tourists can relax, enjoy the view, sample some of the local cuisine and visit the historical villas built here by the popes and by the political and ecclesiastical bigwigs of Rome since the 1600s. The Papal Palace (or the Apostolic Palace) is located in the very center of the city, built on the site of the former residence of Emperor Domitian (Villa of Domitian), and right next to it there is Villa Barberini. Villa Torlonia and Villa Santa Caterina, as well as Villa Cibo, are all worth mentioning.

Especially notable is Villa Chigi which, at present, is home to the splendid Country Club Castelgandolfo, which has one of the most elegant and challenging golf courses in the region. Other interesting places to visit in Castel Gandolfo are the Church of San Tomasso di Villanova (a work by Bernini, constructed between 1658 and 1661) and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, next to other several places of worship. Three notable archeological sites complement the range of sights in Castel Gandolfo: the vestiges of a villa once owned by Publius Clodius Pulcher, the remains of the Bath of Diana Nymphaeum (or Bergantino) and the 4th century BC Emissario Lake Albano, located between the west shore of the lake and the town.

How to get from Rome to Castel Gandolfo

Either by bus of by train, a trip from Rome to Castel Gandolfo will always have its unmatchable charm. In order to learn about the alternatives in terms of railway connections, please visit Trenitalia. For detailed information on the bus trips available between Rome and Castel Gandolfo, visit COTRAL.

The bus tours organized by the specialized operators count as a further alternative. Finally, given Castel Gandolfo is directly linked to Rome by Via Appia Nuova, driving from the capital to the town is also an option to take into account.