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Pope Visit, Sistine Chapel, & Cooking Class

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Experience the Eternal City in a Unique Way

Experience a day like no other, following in the footsteps of the Papacy. Your day begins bright and early, at 7:10 outside the Vatican Museums. As part of this tour, you are granted super early access to the Sistine Chapel, literally before anyone else, allowing you to enjoy the magnificent art of Michelangelo and Raphael in peace, with the inspiring knowledge of your local guide.

We then transport you into the Alban Hills, specifically the charming hilltop town of Castel Gandolfo with its spectacular views of the volcanic Lake Albano. Reminiscent of the Tuscan landscape, the Roman hills are brimming with rustic beauty. The emperor Domitian built his summer palace here in the first century AD. Well over 1,000 years later, the Papal State purchased the plot to build the palace that would serve as the Pope’s official summer residence.

Upon arriving in Castel Gandolfo, you explore the palace, including the Papal Apartments and the celebrated Barberini Gardens, one of the finest examples of landscaped sculptured gardens in Italy. A golf cart or minivan has been arranged for you to get around the estate and bring you to the most exciting part of the day, a cooking class in the Pope’s personal farmhouse.

The Fattoria delle Ville Pontificie covers 55 hectares and features stables, henhouses, orchards, gardens, citrus groves, a vineyard, a spice garden, an olive grove and a dairy. At our cooking school in the estate, our chef welcomes you with antipasti and prosecco. Fresh pasta and dessert are on the menu, and the chef is a specialist in teaching cookery enthusiasts how to master both. Lunch is served with the food you have prepared and local wines.

To wind down after this exceptional day, you have time to wander the sleepy town center of Castel Gandolfo for some souvenir shopping or perhaps take a table at the cafe in the piazza and enjoy a final gelato. Then we transfer you back to Piazza della Repubblica, right in the center of Rome.


  • Guided tour of Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & Saint Peter’s Basilica
  • 45-minute transfer to Castel Gandolfo
  • Guided tour of the Pope’s Private Apartments
  • Minivan or golf cart transfer to the Pope’s farmhouse
  • Aperitivo and cooking class on the Papal Estate
  • Guided tour of the Barberini Gardens
  • Free time in Castel Gandolfo town center
  • Transfer back to Rome (Piazza della Repubblica)