Nov 17, 2018 | Updated: 03:14 AM EDT

Vatican Opens Pope's Summer Palace To Public

Sep 14, 2015 02:04 AM EDT

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Castel Gandolfo has been the site of a residence of Domitian, a Roman Emperor and was designed by Swiss- Italian architect Carlo Maderno for Pope Urban VIII. It was been used as a vacation retreat house for the Pope.

Currently, a special locomotive or a train will be taking visitors and tourists from all over the world that would like to visit the historical and famous summer palace of the Pope to get a glimpse of the museums and architectural wonder of the site. Its special tour would include a ride from the main city state of Vatican and Italy's railway train station, Ferrovia dello Stato which holds the record for the smallest railroad network of 300 yards, to the Vatican Museums and Gardens to the Pontifical Villas south of Rome which began last September 12th and would only be available on Saturdays for just 40 Euros for the round trip.

The special tour would be given priority for the entrances on the Vatican Museum and Gardens. The passengers will also be travelling to Albano Laziale, 25km trip from Rome then a shuttle bus ride to the Pontifical Villas in nearby Castel Gandolfo.

One of the highlights would be the opening of new papal portrait gallery by Pope Francis in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo which would feature oil paintings from way back 16th century of popes and their vestments, thrones and even Pope Clement XII's enormous slippers and fancy costumes of the one-time papal court which was officially abolished in 1968 by Pope Paul VI and removed permanently by Pope Francis.

The Castel Gandolfo hasn't been used since Pope Benedicts XVI ended his papacy there on February 28, 2013 and Pope Francis wasn't using it as he preferred to stay in the Vatican Hotel where he lives. Last year, he decided to open its gardens to the public to help it recover from its economic downturn since it has been neglected with the absence of Sunday prayers usually held by popes during summer.

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