Enjoy the exclusive opportunity to explore the Pontifical Villas before seeing Rome’s notable landmarks and roving around the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. Travel southeast of Rome to Castel Gandolfo, a picturesque village nestled in the Alban Hills. Take a ride on an eco-friendly vehicle through the sprawling compound of the Pontifical Villas, where popes have relaxed on summer retreats for centuries. As a special concession of Pope Francis, you’ll get a rare glimpse of the gardens and archeological remains of the Villa of Domitian, dating back to the 1st century AD. Stop by the farmhouse from where every day milk, yogurts, meat, eggs, fruit, olive oil and wine are sent to Vatican City. Depending on availability you may even get to sample one of their products before spending an hour of free time dining independently in Castel Gandolfo with views of Lake Albano.
• Castel Gandolfo: For the first time ever you can tour the gardens onboard eco-friendly transportation and see the farmhouse of the Pope’s official summer estate.
• Roman highlights: Enjoy a passing glimpse of the massive Colosseum, Circus Maximus racing stadium, Piazza Venezia and St. Angel Castle.
• Vatican City: Browse museum collections, marvel Michelangelo’s elaborate frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, and step into St. Peter’s Basilica.
• THIS TOUR IS OPERATED BY A TOUR OPERATOR THAT HAS BEEN THIRD-PARTY VERIFIED TO AN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED SUSTAINABILITY STANDARD.
What To Bring:
• SeaPass card and photo identification
• Cash (Euros)/credit cards
• Sun protection
• Umbrella (from ship)
What To Wear:
• Walking shoes
• Hat and sunglasses
• Wind/water resistant jacket
• Conservative attire required
• For security reasons there is a metal detector check before entering the Pontifical Villas and long queues may be expected. The Pontifical Villas at Castel Gandolfo are still used by the pope; therefore access may be restricted or denied at any given time for security reasons. Guests must be able to walk approximately 3 kilometers over even/uneven surfaces and about 250 steps at the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica. Pregnant women and guests with back/neck problems should not select this tour. Guests must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate.
• Guests with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour – particularly tours categorized as “strenuous”. Guests who have concerns must consult with their personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be strenuous for them. Guests in wheelchairs and others with limited mobility should not select this tour.
• The eco-friendly transportation used for the Pontifical Villas visit is not wheelchair accessible. Inside the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica, there is an itinerary dedicated to guests using a wheelchair. Since this route is not the same used by groups, wheelchair guests will explore independently and miss a large part of guide's commentary. A strict dress code is enforced inside the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica.
• No exposed shoulders or knees. No tank tops or shorts. Due to recent world events, please note that more accurate security controls should be expected at the various sites visited.
• During services or special events at St. Peter’s Basilica, guides give an outside explanation and guests then enter quietly on their own. St. Peter’s Basilica sometimes closes for security under crowded conditions. Some wait time may occur.
• If a wait time at St. Peter’s Basilica exceeds 45 minutes, a description is given outside, with no interior visit. St. Peter's Basilica may close for security reasons and/or religious celebrations at any given time without previous notice. If the designated motor coach drop off/pick up point for St. Peter’s Basilica is congested or unavailable, an alternative drop off/pick up point location will be used. An additional walking portion of .6 miles from/to the alternative location should be considered.
• Products at the Pontifical Villas’ farmhouse may vary depending on the season and availability.
• Ongoing restorations are frequently in progress at the various venues visited. Tour does not include lunch.
• The drive to Castel Gandolfo is approximately 2 hours. The drive from Vatican City to port is approximately 1.5 hours. Tour sequence may vary.
• This tour does not operate on Sundays and religious holidays. Affected sailings will include the Brilliance of the Seas, August 17, 2017.
• There will be a possible closure of St. Peter’s Basilica, at any given time without previous notice, due to a Pope’s audience at St. Peter's square for the Brilliance of the Seas' September 10, 2017
sailing and Freedom of the Seas’ President’s Cruise September 17 , 2017
sailing. Due to the big crowds, long queues are to be expected to enter the basilica.