The Vatican Gardens

The tour will take you into the green heart of the world’s smallest state. A vast heart all the same, because over a third of the 44 hectares making up the tiny state is occupied by these green areas.

Throughout the centuries, starting in the 13th and thanks to the initiatives of various Pontiffs, these gardens have become richer and richer. Today they’re here around us to tell the stories of centuries and centuries of Papal history.

The Vatican Gardens are a unique encounter between nature, art and the Christian faith. A nature looked after with loving care, the works of so many artists, architects and creators and the Faith that inspired those who wanted these projects to coalesce in one harmonious location.

Viale Vaticano, 00165 Rome RM


€ 48,00


45 min
Gardens in minibus and Museums, approx. 3 hours



Here we can admire Mediterranean flowers and plants, exotic species imported from faraway continents, lush lawns, centuries-old trees, hedgerows and even a small wood.

It is also a concentration of unique architectural and artistic structures: small temples, villas, grottoes, fountains, towers, ancient walls, statues, archaeological findings. Works that are memorials of events, places and saints linked to the bi-millennial history of the Church.

The gardens are a discreet oasis of peace where Pontiffs have sought a quiet refuge where to reflect and rest. For centuries reserved and secret, today the gardens are open to visitors from all around the world


  • Guaranteed access after booking
  • Priority access with no queue
  • Tour of the Vatican Gardens by minibus with audio-guide
  • Free tour of the Vatican Museums with no time limit
  • Assistance service by our staff
  • Get your tickets in your email inbox or through our App
  • Display your tickets on your smartphone

What’s included

  • Access with priority entrance after booking your date and time
  • Reception at our office near Saint Peter’s Square
  • Accompaniment by our staff to the Vatican Museums entrance
  • Reception with dedicated staff present at the Vatican Museums
  • Open minibus tour of the Vatican Gardens with multilingual audio-guide

What’s not included

  • Guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
  • Audio-guide tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Information and reception

Office at Piazza Pio XII, 9 (near Saint Peter’s Square)

How to reach us:

  • Metro: line A to Ottaviano - San Pietro Musei Vaticani station
  • Tram: route 19 to Piazza del Risorgimento, plus a 10-minute walk
  • Bus: routes 40 and 64. Routes 32, 81 or 982 to Piazza del Risorgimento, terminus (10-minute walk)
  • Open Bus Vatican&Rome: Stop n°1 or n°16 (Vaticano/Castel Sant'Angelo)


Date and time of your visit must be pre-booked.

Visits are available every day except Sundays and Vatican festivities starting at the following times:

from 01.01.2020 to 28.03.2020: 11:45

from 30.03.2020 to 31.10.2020: 10:00 and 11:00

Italian, English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Russian

See  the map of the Vatican Gardens

VATICAN FESTIVITIES For an updated list of Vatican festivities, click here 

MEETING POINT: Arrive at least 15 minutes before your pre-booked time at our office at Piazza Pio XII, 9


  • At present the bus is not equipped with a wheelchair ramp
  • The tour of the Vatican Gardens is not accessible to children under the age of 6
  • No eating during the tour
  • No smoking on the bus
  • Use of selfie sticks is not permitted
  • Leaving the bus during the tour is not permitted
  • Picking flowers, plants or aromatic herbs is not permitted
  • Seatbelts must be worn on the bus
  • Only photos for private use may be taken in the Vatican Gardens
  • The tour is confirmed also in case of adverse weather conditions
  • The itinerary of the Vatican Gardens tour may vary due to unforeseen activities of the Holy See or of the Vatican State
  • The tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel involves long stretches on foot, stairs and uphill paths, we therefore recommend wearing comfortable shoes

Points of interest

The Lourdes Grotto

In the heart of the Vatican Gardens we find a faithful reproduction of the Lourdes grotto, a gift made to Pope Leo XIII in 1902 from the Bishop of the diocese that includes Lourdes.

The altar at the centre is original and had been in the Lourdes grotto for all of 100 years. It was donated to Pope John XXIII in 1958.

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Here the Popes come to pray and celebrate Holy Mass during particular Marian celebrations. Benedict XVI often stops here to pray during his walks.

On special occasions groups of faithful go up to the grotto in the evening and hundreds of flambeaux, the candles used in Lourdes for the great processions on the grounds of the sanctuary, light up the roads of the Vatican Gardens.


The Villa of Pius IV

The Villa of Pius IV is a jewel of Renaissance architecture built by Pirro Ligorio, garden architect and hydraulic engineer to whom we also owe the Villa d'Este in Tivoli.

Elegant pavilions decorated with frescoes, stuccos and mosaics gather round a central nymphaeum embellished with fountains adorned with statues.

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The water gushing from the fountains and the shade provided by centuries-old pine trees create an ideal place to defeat the heat of the Roman summers.

Today the villa houses the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.


The Fountain of the Eagle

Since antiquity Rome has been the city where water has inspirited the life of its inhabitants in many ways. The Pontiffs, in particular from the 16th century, continued to offer the city water as a resource for life, but also as joy for the eyes.

The English poet Shelley wrote in his diary: "The fountains are enough to justify a trip to Rome".

In the heart of the Vatican could not miss the fountains, a place of refreshment of body and soul, where you can stop and meditate

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With this fountain, commissioned by Paul V Borghese in the early 17th century, the Dutch architect Giovanni Vasanzio recreated a very special environment: a series of shadowy caves covered with musk and climbing plants. Miniature waterfalls, tritons and winged dragons fuel with their gushes of water the great central basin from which the heads of two nymphs emerge.

The fountain is dominated from above by a large eagle. Dragons and eagles are heraldic symbols of the Borghese family.


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