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:
I was incredibly impressed with Dara's knowledge and the tour given. I have even purchased a book about the art of the Sistine Chapel in order to develop my knowledge!! Very impressed and would highly recommend.
5.0 Stars Lisa Mcmonagle
Spoke excellent English. Loved the headphones. Did not have to keep up to enjoy the tour. Have two teenagers with us and they enjoyed it too!
5.0 Stars Toni Elizabeth Stanek
Dara was Amazing
Dara was amazing. Very funny and he knew his stuff!!!
5.0 Stars Andrea Green
Brilliant Irish Wit
Dara was so knowledgeable about all aspects of the history, architecture and general elements of the Vatican. What we really appreciated were the background stories he shared about why things were done the way that they were as it really aided our understanding and appreciation. Our group included 2 teenagers, and all of us were pleased. There was so much to cover and he did it brilliantly. His brilliant Irish wit was greatly appreciated too! I can't imagine trying to do the Vatican on our own.
5.0 Stars Carrie
Excellent tour. Our guide was wonderful and really cared about everything.
5.0 Stars Peggy Collias
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
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
Dara was Outstanding
Dara was outstanding. The tour was sensational and met every expectation we had. Our two teenage boys where very impressed with the tour and thoroughly enjoyed Dara's commentary, humor and knowledge.
5.0 Stars Carolyn Wales
Excellent Sense of Humour
Very informative and Dara has an excellent sence of humour.
5.0 Stars Billy Kane
Dara's Tour was Fantastic.
Dara's tour was fantastic. He made 2000 years of history much more fun than expected. I would certainly take his tour again when I next visit Rome. I learned so much and had a great time. Thanks!
5.0 Stars Melinda
|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|