Discover Castel Gandolfo
Discover Castel Gandolfo, Latin: Castrum Gandulphi, colloquially Castello in the Castelli Romani dialects) is a small Italian town or comune in Lazio that occupies a height overlooking Lake Albano about 15 miles south-east of Rome, on the Alban Hills. It is best known as the summer residence of the Pope. The town was voted one of the most beautiful towns in Italy.
The resort community includes almost the whole coastline of Lake Albano that is surrounded by many summer residences, villas and cottages built during the seventeenth century. It houses the StadioOlimpico that staged the rowing events during the Rome Olympics.
There are also several places of archaeological interest, including the Emissario del Lago Albano and the remains of the Villa of Domitian. The area is included in the boundaries of the Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani (Regional Park of Castelli Romani). There are also many points of artistic interest, such as the Collegiate Church of St. Thomas of Villanova, built by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Monuments and places of interest
The Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo (Palazzo Apostolico di Castel Gandolfo in Italian), the Pope's summer residence, is a 17th century building designed by Carlo Maderno for Pope Urban VIII. The papal palace, and the adjoining Villa Barberini that was added to the complex by Pius XI have enjoyed extraterritorial rights since the signature of the 1929 treaty with Italy; the little piazza directly in front was renamed Piazza della Libertà in the first flush of Italian unity after 1870. The Papal Palace remained unused from 1870 until 1929. Popes Pius XII (1958) and Paul VI (1978) died at CastelGandolfo.
Villa Barberini, built by the nephew of Pope Urban VIII (Maffeo Barberini), was incorporated in the extraterritorial complex of the Pontifical Villas only in 1929: manor houses the headquarters of the College of Propaganda Fide. As part of its extensive formal gardens is located, on the existing remains of the complex built by the Roman Emperor Domitian.
The town of Castel Gandolfo is included in the boundaries of the Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani. The major forested areas within its jurisdiction are serious fire risk in summer. The main green area of the town of Castel Gandolfo is represented by the totality of the Pontifical Villas of extraterritorial property of the State of Vatican City.