Pope's Farm

Day Trip to the Pope's Summer Residence at Castel Gandolfo with Cooking Experience | Private

Explore the papal estate of Castel Ganfoldo and experience a hands-on organic cooking course.

  • Availability

    On Request

  • Duration

    Full Day

  • Start time

    On Request

  • Private tour

    On Request


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Why Choose it?

  • Venture through the nearly-boundless papal summer residence.
  • Tour the meticulously kept apostolic palace on the papal estate.
  • Learn to make fresh pasta by hand with ingredients from the papal farm.

Tour description

Take a break from Rome’s frenetic energy by spending a divine day at the pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo. Explore the magnificent apostolic palace and lush Barberini Gardens, indulge in a cooking class and organic lunch on the papal estate, and soak up the charming atmosphere of a quaint hilltop town for a day trip that will recalibrate you for the rest of your time in the Eternal City.

Situated just over 12 miles from the center of Rome in the rolling Alban Hills, Castel Gandolfo is among the most idyllic of Rome’s surrounding towns. For millennia, it has offered a rustic refuge for Romans retreating to the countryside - first the emperor Domitian, the remains of whose palace are still scattered across the grounds, then the popes, who have been frequenting the area since the 16th century. Your private tour lets you discover it all, in expert company and uncompromising luxury.

Your day starts in Rome, where we've laid on a private driver

After meeting your private driver in Rome, you’ll set off down the ancient Via Appia and into the Roman countryside. Journeying in comfort and luxury through Rome’s lush rolling hills, you’ll arrive at the medieval town of Castel Gandolfo

Perched atop the sapphire volcanic waters of Lake Albano, Castel Gandolfo is famous for its Vatican-owned territory. Since the 16th century, it has been home to the pope’s summer residence, opened only recently to the public under Pope Francis.

Visit the Apostolic Palace to explore the popes’ private apartments

Your private guide will accompany you through the opulent papal palace of Castel Gandolfo. Starting with the small museum and its curated apostolic artifacts, you’ll ascend to the second floor to explore the popes’ private chambers.

Visit the pope’s private bedroom, offices, and chapel, learning of the protocol of their visitors and the stories from when they stayed here and enjoying sweeping views over Lake Albano, Rome, and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the distance.

Journey through the papal estate to your private cooking class

Leaving the Apostolic Palace, you’ll find we’ve laid on a golf cart or minivan to take you through the meticulously kept grounds of the papal estate to your private cooking class. The Vatican’s organic farm covers 50 acres and is home to cows, free range chickens, bees, and a sprawling vegetable garden. 

It also produces its own olive oil and dairy products, which are transported daily to Rome to decorate the table of the Holy Father. Pass by lush, landscaped gardens and farmyard animals, whose produce you’ll be using to create your traditional Italian cuisine.

Embark on your own culinary adventure at the Papal Farm

As you arrive at the cooking school, you’ll be greeted by your private professional chef and a wine and antipasti reception he’s laid out for you. Here you can decide what you want to cook, following his recommendations or making your own suggestions.

Your private, hands-on cooking class takes you through the traditional methods of Italian cooking. Roll your own authentic fresh pasta by hand and conjure up succulent desserts from scratch using fresh ingredients harvested from the papal farm itself. Lunch is then served with the food you have prepared — an unforgettable Italian feast perfectly complemented by specially selected local wine.

Discover the Barberini Gardens

Once you’ve lingered over an indulgent organic lunch, you’ll embark on a leisurely tour of the Barberini Gardens from the comfort of your own eco-friendly private transport. These gardens are home to an ancient Roman palace, cryptoporticus, and amphitheater as well as a series of sculpted gardens. 

Explore the Barberini Gardens at your leisure as your expert guide regales you with the stories and legends of the area. Its fascinating history take you from Romulus and Remus to the incumbent Pope Francis, nourishing you with the sights and knolwedge that will make your day unforgettable.

Wander the historic village of Castel Gandolfo

Your day trip to Castel Gandolfo concludes with some time in the town center to explore the square or look out over the lake. Indulge in one last gelato, seek out some creamy Italian coffee, or wander down to the town’s terraces for sweeping panoramas over Lake Albano. Your guide will then accompany you to your driver who will take you back to Rome.

If you’d like to start this day with VIP earliest access to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s Basilica - so you can experience them in peace before the day’s crowds descend - there is also the option to upgrade this tour to a full Papal experience with our private full day VIP Sistine Chapel tour. Click the link for more details.


Tour of the papal palace and gardens in Castel Gandolfo
Wine and antipasti reception
Private cooking class using locally sourced ingredients
Organic lunch on the papal estate
Recipes emailed as PDFs
Luxury private transport to and from Castel Gandolfo


  • Papal Apartments
  • Cooking Class on the Pope's Farm
  • Barberini Gardens
  • Castel Gandolfo

Wheelchair accessible:


meeting point:

Hotel (if centrally located)

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!