About Castel Gandolfo
There are many things to see and do in Castel Gandolfo, including:
Papal Summer Residence and Gardens
See the Apostolic Palace, Barberini Gardens, and more. Enjoy local produce from the Pope’s farm at lunch in the Barberini Gardens
Parish Church of San Tommaso da Villanova
Located on the main square right outside the Papal Palace is the parish church of San Tommaso da Villanova, built between 1658 and 1661 and designed by Bernini at the order of Pope Alexander VII. Inside are beautiful stuccos and paintings by Pietro da Crotona.
Kayak and Swim in Lake Albano
Go on a kayak tour of Lake Albano and glide past the remains of a prehistoric village founded by the legendary Ascanius, son of the hero Aeneas who fled Troy when it was destroyed by the Greeks in 1180 B.C. Enjoy a swim in the pure, crystalline waters of Lake Albano.
Along the shores of Lake Albano are two ancient Roman nymphaea–man-made caves where religious rituals were performed. The first is the Doric Nymphaeum which is mentioned by Cicero; the second is the Bergantino Nymphaeum (also known as Diana’s Baths), with some surviving floor mosaics and a pool in its center.
Tour the Vineyards of Castelli Romani
This volcanic region has been well-known for its wine since antiquity. In 20 B.C. Dionysius of Halicarnassus wrote,
“For the mountain is extremely strong and high and the lake is deep and large; and its waters are received by the plain when the sluices are opened, the inhabitants having it in their power to husband the supply as much as they wish. Lying below the city are plains marvellous to behold and rich in producing wines and fruits of all sorts in no degree inferior to the rest of Italy, and particularly what they call the Alban wine, which is sweet and excellent and, with the exception of the Falernian, certainly superior to all others.”
– The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus
A list of hiking trails in the region can be found here.
Friday Market in Piazza della Libertà
Friday morning is market day in Castel Gandolfo. Wake up early, enjoy an espresso in one of the cafes around the Piazza della Libertà, and sample local goods and produce.
Dine at the Ristorante La Gardenia
Dine at the Ristorante La Gardenia on a terrace overlooking Lake Albano. This restaurant offers a scenic view, elegant atmosphere, and delicious food.