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:
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
I attended the tour with my friend and we both found the tour extremely interesting. I would definitely recommend this tour.
5.0 Stars Tracey Bennett
My husband and I went on the tour and enjoyed it very much. It was very professional.
5.0 Stars Marianne Sweeney
Dara was an excellent guide, knowledgeable and added a nice touch of humour to the tour. We really enjoyed ourselves on the tour.
5.0 Stars Kevin Hall
Dara was an Excellent Guide
Dara was an excellent guide. His tour was very informative without being too 'heavy' and included just the right amount of humour. I'm sure we learnt a great deal more from Dara than if we simply read the guide books. The whole tour experience was incredable and helped to make our brief holiday to Rome a great success. Well Done!!
5.0 Stars Alison and Alan Twyford
Excellent tour. Our guide was wonderful and really cared about everything.
5.0 Stars Peggy Collias
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
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
The tour was good and Dara did a fine job explaining everything.
5.0 Stars Tom Johnson
Worth every penny.
Worth every penny.
5.0 Stars Scott Kalkin
|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|