Vatican Gardens minibus tour

Vatican Gardens by minibus, Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

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 among 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


€ 49,00


45 min
Vatican Gardens tour in minibus and Museums about 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
  • Receive your tickets by email - Show only the official voucher that you will receive by email at the entrance to the Vatican Museums. The official voucher once issued can no longer be changed. Make sure you also check your email in your spam folder.
  • Display your tickets on your smartphone

What’s included

  • Access with priority entrance after booking your date and time
  • Open minibus tour of the Vatican Gardens with multilingual audio-guide
  • Free visit (without guide) of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel

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


  • It is mandatory to book the date and time of the visit.


  • Every day except Sundays and Vatican holidays from 24.04.2023 to 31.10.2023


  • at 11:45 and 12:45


  • Show up at least 15 minutes before the booking time, at the Vatican Museums (Viale Vaticano 6) - Guided Tours Desk


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

See  the map of the Vatican Gardens


  •  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

How to reach the Vatican Museums

  • Metro: line A, Ottaviano - San Pietro Musei Vaticani stop
  • Tram: 19, Piazza del Risorgimento plus a stretch on foot (about 10 minutes)
  • Bus: line 40 or 64. Lines 32, 81 or 982, Piazza del Risorgimento, terminus (15 minutes on foot)
  • Open Bus Vatican&Rome: stop n.1 or n.11 (Vatican/Castel Sant'Angelo)

Points of interest

Vatican Gardens Tour

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.


Vatican Gardens Tour

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.


Vatican Gardens Tour

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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