Vatican City, 4 March 2014 (VIS) – Following a decision by Pope Francis, the gardens of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo will be open to the public starting from this month. Since last Saturday it has been possible to visit the Barberini Garden, with its beautiful natural landscapes and archaeological remains: the Paths of Roses, aromatic Herbs, and Lilies, the Square of holly oaks, and the Belvedere Garden, from where there is a panoramic view over Latium, out to the coastline. In the area of Villa Barberini there is the Villa of the Emperor Domitian, which faces Lake Albano, and the visitor may explore the remains of the imperial theatre and the crypto-portico or covered passageway of the imperial villa.
The Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo cover an area of 55 hectares in the area of the “Castelli Romani” in the province of Rome, and are part of the extraterritorial possessions of the Holy See in Italy. They were conceded to the Holy See by the Lateran Pacts of 1929, as they constitute the preferred suburban papal residence since the pontificate of Urban VIII in the 17th century.
The Castel Gandolfo gardens are open to the public in the morning from Monday to Saturday; bookings can be made on the Vatican Museums website.