Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 10½ Hours
Meals not included
Vatican City UNESCO World Heritage Site
Experience the splendor of the Pope's private Summer Estate, recently open to the public by special concession of Pope Francis. Here, the splendor of art and the glory of nature co-exist in a perfect equilibrium. Built atop the villa of Emperor Tito Flavius, in the hills south of Rome, the estate overlooks the lake of Castel Gandolfo. The 135-acre complex has been a second home for all Popes since 1626.
Board an eco-vehicle for a drive through the estate, introducing you to its fascinating gardens, majestic fountains, and a flowerbed where the Pope's Coat of Arms is depicted colorful blossoms.
Stop by the Roman ruins to admire the Emperor Domitian's amphitheatre.
A second exclusive stop will be made at the Antiquarium, a small museum which houses Roman sculptures found in the Emperor’s Domitian Palace. You will drive by Pope's farmhouse which produces for the Vatican State -- milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, fruit, olive oil or wine. You will also see a 1,000-year-old oak tree.
After some free time to shop, explore and purchase lunch (at your own expense) in the quaint village of Castel Gandolfo, reboard your motorcoach for the comprehensive panoramic drive to the Vatican City.
Upon arrival at the Vatican Museums, you'll be whisked through the fast lane to visit one of the most impressive collections in the world, embracing art from every period. Your guide will walk you through a portion of this incredible facility.
Visit the Cabinet of the Masks. This constitutes an exclusive area of the galleries, whose name comes from the beautiful Roman mosaics depicting masks that adorn its floor.
Along with tiled mosaic, paintings and stucco that decorate this room, the Cabinet of Masks also features several works of sculpture.
Reaching the Sistine Chapel, you will have the chance to look up and marvel at the masterpieces of the great Michelangelo, including his frescoes of Genesis on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall.
Finally enjoy outside views of the the St Peter's Basilica -- by far the largest church in the world.
After an incredibly interesting day, you will drive back to the ship in Civitavecchia.
Please note: Lunch is not included. You will have time to purchase lunch at your own expense at St Peter's Square or Castel Gandolfo. Tour requires extensive walking (more than a mile) on even and uneven terrain and cobblestones with more than 250 steps at the Vatican Museums.