The Vatican Gardens have been a place of quiet and meditation for the popes since 1279 when Nicholas III moved his residence back to the Vatican from the Lateran Palace. Within the new walls, which he had built to protect his residence, he planted an orchard (pomerium), a lawn (pratellum) and a garden (viridarium).

Created around the hill of Saint Egidio (where the Palazzetto del Belvedere is located today) and the courtyards of the Vatican Museums, this was to be the first garden in the Vatican. However, should you visit the Vatican Gardens today you would begin by viewing a totally different area from that first orchard, one located in a more recent addition to what is now Vatican City State. It is there that larger and more recent gardens have been planted, covering together with the original garden about half of the 44 hectares of Vatican City.

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    User Reviews

    karo Linka (7 months ago)
    Beautiful green spaces, a bit too much concrete
    Victor John (8 months ago)
    A beautiful and well kept papal garden. I really loved it
    Jasper Verbeke (2 years ago)
    Nice but not as spectacular as you would think, go to the top of the basilica first.
    Maja Wis (2 years ago)
    I guess the best part is restricted. The accessible bit is ok, you can see the wealth of Vatican poured into maintenance while keeping it "simple" at the same time
    Dan (DV) (3 years ago)
    The bus tour was great, especially for the end of December when it can get cold. The bus had a plastic cover so you don't face any wind. There was practically no queue. You're allowed in with ~45 minutes before the time on the ticket and in no time you're past the scanners. There are separate counters from where you can get the tickets insinde the building (almost no line). When the tour is done, you can visit the rest of the museum; no other waiting involved.
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