A summer stroll at Castel Gandolfo

Pope Benedict in the garden

The gardens at the Pontifical Villas at Castel Gandolfo are open to the public. This video from the Catholic News Service takes us on a tour of this idyllic papal retreat, and explains something of its history and how it came to be open to the public.

The Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo comprise about 55 hectares (11 more than Vatican City) of which 30 make up a garden while 25 are used for farming. The latter is carried out with full regard for the aesthetics proper to countryside gardening. The entire papal residence enjoys all the privileges of extraterritoriality.

The properties which make up the villas include the Papal Palace (comprising also the Vatican Observatory), the Barberini Palace, apartment housing for 21 employees, an electrical plant, offices, farm buildings and animal stables. Also contained in the villas are buildings in the Villa Cybo set aside for the religious community of the Maestre Pie Filippini and their school, and two cloistered convents housing the Poor Clare and Basilian Nuns.

In the piazza in front of the Papal Palace, the parish house assigned to the Salesians stands alongside the Pontifical Church of St Thomas of Villanova.

To view picture galleries of the Castel Gandolfo, CLICK HERE.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

To watch this video on YouTube, CLICK HERE.

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