The Vatican Gardens

Vatican Gardens: the green heart of the Vatican

Kept secret and confidential for many centuries, today the gardens are open to visitors with a new Roma Cristiana mini Open Bus experience. A visit to the gardens of the smallest country in the world, and discovering its treasures through a modern audio guide full of explanations, insights, interesting facts and anecdotes.

Enriched over time by various popes, the Vatican Gardens tell the history of many centuries of the Papacy and represent a wonderful encounter between nature, art and faith. Here you will find nature, cared for by man’s love, intellectual work of many artists and the faith of those who have inspired and wanted the creation of this wonderful space.

Flowers and Mediterranean plants live alongside exotic species from various continents, plush lawns, century-old trees, hedges and even a small forest as well as the reproduction of a cliff. Together we will discover the works of art surrounded by greenery: temples, small houses, caves, fountains, towers, ancient walls, statues and archaeological finds. In addition, the many sites devoted to Mary and works commemorating the events and places related to the history of the Catholic Church. You will discover that each pope has experienced the gardens in a different way: each chose this place to meditate, to collect their thoughts, to enjoy the beauties of nature.

Please note that to access the Vatican Gardens on board the mini Open Bus Experience, you must meet at the St. Peter’s ORP office (Piazza Pio XII, 9) 15 minutes before the previously selected and confirmed time.

A Bit of History

Created in the 13th century under Nicholas III’s order, which returned the papal residence from the Lateran to the Vatican, the gardens are where the Holy Father loves to walk, rest and meditate. They are an oasis of peace and tranquility. Within the new walls, which were erected to defend his residence, the Pope commissioned an orchard (pomerium), a lawn (pratellum) and a proper garden (viridarium). This first part was created near the Sant'Egidio hill, which now houses the Palace of Belvedere and the courtyards of the Vatican Museums.