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.
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
WHAT TO DO FOR THE VATICAN GARDENS TOUR
TOUR DEPARTURE TIME
LANGUAGES AVAILABLE ON BOARD
See the map of the Vatican Gardens
USEFUL INFORMATION FOR THE 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.
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.hide
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.
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.hide
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
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.hide
Visit St. Peter's Basilica accompanied by an official guide.
Discover the Eternal City aboard our unmistakable yellow Vatican&Rome Open Bus and explore new routes using the fleet of our partners Big Bus Roma and City Sightseeing Roma.
Rome is an open-air museum. Comfortably seated and with a multilingual audio guide system, you can look at the Eternal City from another point of view.
An experience loved by young and old.