Train from Vatican City to the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo every Saturday.
The Vatican has resumed train trips to the Pontifical Villas at Castel Gandolfo, the historic papal retreat in the hills about 25 km south-east of Rome.
Every Saturday from April until the end of October a train will connect the tiny railway station at Vatican City with Albano Laziale, where passengers will be met a shuttle bus taking them to the papal gardens.
With spectacular views over Lake Albano, the 30-hectare Barberini gardens at Castel Gandolfo feature ancient Roman ruins dating back to Emperor Domitian as well as a square of holly oaks, paths of roses and aromatic herbs, and a magnolia garden.
Castel Gandolfo has been a holiday refuge for popes since the 17th century however Pope Francis chose to break with tradition by spending summers at his S. Marta residence in the Vatican.
The papal retreat was opened to the public for the first time in 2014.
The Vaticano Full Day tour package begins at 08.00 with a visit to the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Gardens, with audio-guides available.
The tour group then boards a train from the Vatican City train station, which is linked to Stazione S. Pietro across the bridge in Italy.
Visitors can explore the Villa Barberini gardens with audio-guides before meeting up in the late afternoon to make their way back to St Peter’s train station in Rome, where they will arrive at about 18.30.
The train trips take place each Saturday until 29 October (except on 16 April), with additional dates of Monday 25 April (Festa della Liberazione) and Thursday 2 June (Festa della Repubblica).
The total package costs €43 per person, with reduced rates for families. For full details of ticket prices and various tour options see Vatican Museums website.