The Vatican Gardens are a private garden complex within Vatican City. They cover 57 acres and comprise the majority of the Vatican State, as you can see from the map.
It is possible to take tours of the Vatican Gardens, but only through the Vatican themselves. The tour operates everyday except Wednesday and Sunday and costs approximately €30 per person.
Booking can be done online, through their website www.vaticanstate.va and full details are available from them. I recommend trying to book a gardens tour quite some time before your arrival in Rome, at least a month.
On tours such as mine, or that of any other guide or company, you can get a good view of the gardens, take photos of them but unfortunately not enter them.
You can only enter the gardens on an official Vatican tour.
The Vatican Gardens date back to the 13th Century when Pope Nicholas III developed the land within the Vatican Walls.
He planted an orchard, created a lawn and flower gardens. From there successive Popes developed and expanded upon the gardens turning them in to the beautiful, tranquil area they are now. While you are in the gardens you almost forget you are in the middle of one the busiest cities in the world and surrounded by the most visited museum complex in Europe.
The Gardens are used officially by the Pope for constitutional walks, usually after dinner, when tourists have gone home.
Like with the rest of the city, his Holiness is kind enough to allow members of the public see this inner part of the city.
They provide the serenity necessary to approach matters with a clear mind and much church business is discussed by the Pope with his attendants.
One of the favourite locations of the previous Pope Benedict XVI is the grotto; a recreation of the grotto of Lourdes where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared. He often uses this site for prayer and private reflection.
My Tour reviews:
Tour was good
Tour was good. Dara was informative and accomodating
5.0 Stars Nancy Stanton
This Irish tour guide was excellent. Very knowledgeable and delivered information in a thorough manner with a clear voice. By far the best guide I had on the trip.
5.0 Stars Russell Lau
Worth every penny.
Worth every penny.
5.0 Stars Scott Kalkin
Great Tour Guide
What a funny guy! Truly enjoyed the commentary whether it was related or not! He is a great tour guide, super personality!
5.0 Stars Melissa Laycock
Dara did a fantastic job. His sense of humor was a definite plus and kept us all engaged.
5.0 Stars Roger Koppy
The Most Enjoyable Tour
This was the most enjoyable tour of our entire two week vacation to Italy. Dara was quite knowledgeable and interjected fun facts and humor which made it even more engaging for our children - ages 20, 17 & 15. He was always respectful of the faith and reminded us of the rules, other tour guides must not have been as informative.
5.0 Stars Mike Howard
It was a great tour except it was too long without being able to sit down or take breaks. (This is a criticism of the Vatican many people have - there should be more benches - Dara).
5.0 Stars Sheila Picard
An easy and Fun Experience
The tour was everything and more than we expected. Thanks for making it an easy and fun experience for the whole family.
5.0 Stars Sarah Morel
Tons of Sense of Humour
I love Dara's format of explaining with tons of sense of humour.
5.0 Stars Celina Tablante
Dara was Great
Dara was great. We had to leave the tour early because our ship changed the departure time from the port city - move it up 1 hour. Dara gave us great directions on where to go to see what we wanted to see since we couldn't stay with the tour. He also was very informative while the hour or so we were with the tour.
5.0 Stars Jerry Parche
|Where is Vatican City|
|Vatican City Map|
|Parts of the Vatican|
|St. Peter's Basilica|
|St. Peter's Square|
|St. Peter's Dome|
|My Vatican Tour Details|
|Skip the Line Tickets|
|Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's|
|Bathroom & Coffee Breaks|
|English Speaking Guides|