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:
The Tour was Great
The tour was great. Dara was a great combination of knowledge and humor. Good pace. I would use your tour company again.
5.0 Stars Mike Marotta
Dara made the whole foot pounding experience very interesting with a touch of humour thrown in for good measure. Without him pointing out things on the way we would have missed a lot. My teenage daughter was not looking forward to the tour, but afterwards she commented on how much she got out of it and found it very funny.
5.0 Stars Mr Parlour
Easy to Understand
Dara was a good guide and seemed to know what he was talking about, plus he was easy to understand.
5.0 Stars Jason P
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
The tour was good and Dara did a fine job explaining everything.
5.0 Stars Tom Johnson
Knowledgeable and Friendly
We had a wonderful time on our tour. Dara was knowledgeable and friendly. The Vatican trip was a highlight of our trip to Rome. Thank you.
5.0 Stars Medina Khalil
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
Excellent tour. Our guide was wonderful and really cared about everything.
5.0 Stars Peggy Collias
A Great Tour
The tour was great, after talking with others on our cruise we got the better deal as they went on the cruise sponsor tour. I do have 2 items to help with improvements. I know you may not be able to do this one and it may be out of your control, but benches would be great when listening to the information on the Sistine Chapel. The second, the guides need better microphone, when they turn their head the mic stays put and you lose volume. My party all agreed that it was a great tour. Debbie.
5.0 Stars Deborah Flanders
Thoroughly pleased with the entire experience.
5.0 Stars Christy Turner
|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|