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:
Informative and Interesting
Our tour was most informative and interesting. The guide kept the family entertained with facts of the origins to the many statues and artwork. Well worth the cost to cover such a magnificent papal residence.
5.0 Stars Gilbert & Luisa Rigon
By Far the Best I have Ever Experienced
Having travelled a great deal, I have been on many tours in many places, but this tour was by far the best I have ever experienced! Dara delivered a lot of information in a quick and witty way. I am so glad we didn't try to visit the Vatican without a tour. Thanks so much for a wonderful day!
5.0 Stars April Flowers
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
The tour was very good and Dara had the perfect combination of knowledge, respect and humour! It was good he had this as the tour is long but we knew it would be. The only aspect of the tour which saddened me and my friends (this has no reflection on Dara) when we entered the Sistine Chapel I could believe the noise, flash photography and uncovered arms!!) This is obviously a sign of the times but the Vatican should Not allow it. Vatican Tour was amazing and of course I will be recommending it.
5.0 Stars Anna Baker
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
Very Friendly and Nice Tour Guide
Very friendly and nice tour guide. Had a lot of knowledge and was presenting it in an efficient and enjoyable manner. Answered all questions to our satisfaction. We have enjoyed the tour very, very much. We will recommend this tour to our friends.
5.0 Stars M.G (Fred) Drotskie
Very Knowledgeable and Spirited
He was very knowledgeable and spirited. Plus, what with the Obamas in town, we had to walk the entire way around to get to the Vatican when the tour was over. As an aside, my daughter and I waited in the Vatican for almost an hour as there was a rumor that Mrs. Obama was expected, but in the end, what with only 1 1/2 days in Rome, we left. Since we continued on to Florence, Bologna, and Venice, we never did find out if we had missed seeing her. But was there ever a lot of excitement in that area
5.0 Stars Dr Donna Ferrara
Very funny and Entertaining
Dara was fantastic!! Really informative, considerate of everyone on the tour. Aware that it was a long tour with a lot of walking and was always aware of the groups comfort and needs. He was also very funny and entertaining, I would highly recommend him!
5.0 Stars Tracey Herbert
Dara was very informative
5.0 Stars Jeff Kennedy
|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|