Pope's Farm

Full Day Sistine Chapel, Pope's Summer Residence plus Cooking Class & Lunch | Private

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the wonders of the papacy in Rome and Castel Gandolfo.

  • Availability

    On Request

  • Duration

    Full Day

  • Start time

    On Request

  • Private tour

    On Request

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Why Choose it?

  • Save 15% combining 2 tours and a cooking class.
  • Book with the only operator in Rome offering this experience.
  • Tour the Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica 90 minutes before opening.
  • Explore the Pope's private apartments in Castel Gandolfo.
  • Master recipes refined over centuries in a hands-on cooking class on the Pope’s estate.
  • Tour the lush Barberini Gardens and quaint village of Castel Gandolfo.

Tour description

Indulge in a day worthy of the papacy as you combine a VIP tour of the Vatican with a venture into the Roman countryside. After taking in the art, architecture, and captivating culture of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s Basilica, you’ll be driven to the Pope’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo for a full-day trip and culinary experience that’ll be the highlight of your trip.

Your private, expert guide will be by your side throughout the day, ready to accommodate any of your wishes, answer any questions, and tailor the itinerary just for you. Once your day is over, you’ll feel you’ve truly experienced the Vatican and its territory in Castel Gandolfo, following in the footsteps of the papacy and mastering traditional Italian cooking using produce freshly sourced from the estate

Step inside the Vatican Museums before they even open

Because you have prized earliest access tickets to the Vatican Museums and its collection, you’ll step inside at 7:30 am - 90 minutes before the Vatican opens to the general public. This means you and your private guide will be free to roam the Vatican’s vast collection, honing in on exactly what you want in the peace and quiet of the early morning.

Your private guide will walk you through the Vatican’s unmissable collections, suggesting the perfect itinerary to suit your tastes. Should you wish to see something in particular, just let them know. Otherwise, they’ll guide you through a carefully crafted itinerary exploring the fabled Gallery of the Candelabra, the resplendent Gallery of Maps, and the stunningly detailed Gallery of Tapestries.

Surround yourself with Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel

Stepping inside the Sistine Chapel, you’ll find yourself emerging right beside the sublime mural masterpiece of the Last Judgment and the seemingly three-dimensional masterpiece of Michelangelo’s frescoed ceiling. The Great Master spent an astonishing four years painting the latter, suspended on his back as the paint slowly blinded him.

Your earliest access to the Vatican allows you to experience the Sistine Chapel like so few ever do: in peace and space as opposed to the noise and bustle of crowds. Take some time to savor the moment as you familiarize yourself with Michelangelo’s lifelike biblical creations. 

Take time to explore Saint Peter's Basilica

Making your way directly from the Sistine Chapel to Saint Peter’s Basilica through a secret passageway, you’ll learn all about the basilica’s long and gripping history from your expert guide. Built atop the site of the eponymous gospel writer’s burial, Saint Peter’s Basilica is the world’s most famous church. You’ll have the opportunity to explore all its treasures during your final stop at the Vatican.

Stand in the shadow of Bernini's Baldachin, the monument built atop Saint Peter's eternal resting place. Marvel at Michelangelo's Pietà, one of the Great Master's earliest artworks, as the crepuscular rays creep in through the basilica’s windows to illuminate your path. Then descend beneath the basilica to explore the crypt where many of the popes are buried. Once you’ve had your fill, we’ll make our way out into Saint Peter’s Square and onwards to meet your driver.

Journey in luxury to the hilltop town of Castel Gandolfo

The popes first started coming to Castel Gandolfo in the 16th century, traveling here for its seclusion, comfort, and stunning views over Rome and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Visit the town today and soak in the stunning scenery of its hillside and the cerulean waters of Lake Albano and you can quite see why they chose here.

Upon your arrival in Castel Gandolfo, your guide will take you straight inside the Apostolic Palace. Previously a place of absolute privacy, it was recently opened to the public by Pope Francis who converted one floor into a small museum and opened the second - the popes’ private apartments - to visitors. Discover the routines and rituals surrounding the Pope's personal life and the procedure and protocol of his many esteemed visitors.

Experience a private cooking class on the papal estate

From the Apostolic Palace, you’ll be driven straight to our cooking school on the papal estate where your private English-speaking chef will welcome you with a wine and antipasti reception.This will whet your appetite for your hands-on cooking class where you’ll perfect the art of making a traditional Italian lunch by hand, using ingredients sourced exclusively from the papal estate.

Castel Gandolfo is home to several time-honored recipes that have been refined over generations, like the beloved cappellacci del prete (ravioli stuffed with a rich ragù sauce). Because this is a private cooking class, you can decide with your chef what you want to cook (depending on what’s freshest for the season or what you want to impress friends and family with back home!). Indulge on your main and dolce over a home-made lunch paired with select regional wines.

Roam the sculpted Barberini Gardens and town square

Nestled among the lush, landscaped Barberini Gardens are both ancient and apostolic treasures . We've laid on private, eco-friendly transport to take you through them while your guide tells you of the rich and gripping story of the area’s development. From Pope Benedict’s favorite garden to an ancient imperial palace and amphitheater, you’ll be able to explore the Barberini Gardens to your heart’s content, capturing the moment with stunning photographs.

Your private tour concludes in the quaint, sleepy town of Castel Gandolfo, where a medieval stone piazza overlooks the shimmering blue waters of the expansive lake below. Take some time to linger over a coffee or indulge yourself further on some regional gelato before your private driver accompanies you back to Rome and the hustle and bustle of the ancient imperial capital. 

Your unforgettable experience at the countryside papal home awaits.

included:

VIP earliest entrance to Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica
Tour of the papal home and gardens in Castel Gandolfo
Wine and antipasti reception
Exclusive cooking class using locally sourced ingredients
Organic lunch on the papal estate
Recipes emailed as PDFs
Luxury transport to and from Castel Gandolfo

itinerary:

  • Vatican Museums
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Saint Peter's Basilica
  • Papal Apartments
  • Cooking Class on the Pope's Farm
  • Barberini Gardens
  • Castel Gandolfo

Kids friendly:

This tour is kids friendly, your children are welcome

Wheelchair accessible:

Yes

meeting point:

Entrance of the Vatican Museums

see on map

excellent guides

Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for the inspiring cultural heritage of our Italian cities. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!

This tour is also available as a Shared Tour!

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