Place of Interest
Pope's summer residence
The small town of Castel Gandolfo on the crater rim of the Lake Albano is the most famous town of the Alban Hills. For about 450 years, the summer residence of the Pope, who stays here traditionally from July to September when the summer heat in Rome is almost unbearable, has been located in the resident Castle. The 55-hectare area includes the residential and state buildings, extensive gardens with numerous fountains, grottos and avenues. Even cows and chickens are kept here and a private vineyard and orchards provide enough food for the pontiff. Castel Gandolfo stands on the remains of the ancient summer palace of the Emperor Domitian. Neither visitors nor archaeologists have access to the papal summer residence and therefore the old Villa still has not been excavated.
From the large balcony at the main entrance, the Pope prays every Sunday before the attendant believers at 12 o’clock during the summer months.