Yesterday I had one of those 5* days with so many nice moments so let me share some of them with you. Instead of visiting some of the museums in Rome, I opted for a trip to Lake Albano above which is situated Castel Gandolfo, a summer residence of the pope. Actually, pope Francesco decided not to use it and the residence is therefore opened as a museum for public since last year.
But before going to the museum, we have went down to the lake and rented a pedal boat. The lake is beautiful because it is not too big so it feels somehow cozy to glide through it. What I liked the most about it is that the water was so clean, it was the cleanest lake that I have tried to swim at. Yes, the temperature of the water was pretty ok so I went bravely to the water and did not regret, it was beautiful.
After our tour of the lake, we went up the hill to Castel Gandolfo. I am not sure if you can buy the tickets on site because I have booked them online in advance, very often for some museums in Rome that is the only way it works so I did not want to risk. Anyway, the entrance fee is 10 Eur and you get an audio guide with it. The residence itself is not that spectacular, but when you think of all the popes that used it and walked through its chambers, it is definitively an interesting site to visit. Namely, it served as the summer residence of the pope since 17. century. In the halls and salons you will mostly see portraits of formal popes. For me, it was interesting to see the bedroom of the pope and his personal chapel as well as the car collection of the pope that is standing in the inner yard. Unfortunately, you can not go out at the balconies and terraces to enjoy the view that must be spectacular.
The Frontal View of Castel Gandolfo
Inside Castel Gandolfo
Pope´s Car Park
After finishing the tour of the museum, you can stroll down the piazza and visit some of the bars and restaurants that will serve you local products. They all look very appealing but unfortunately most of them close the kitchen in the afternoon so around 16h when we finished the tour we hardly found a place that was still opened, luckily it was the place with an amazing view to the lake Albano.
Castel Gandolfo Village
If you are wondering why this place has been chosen as a summer residence, the answer is most likely because of its climate. When compared to high Rome temperatures in summer, Castel Gandolfo will always have few degrees lake which makes it much more pleasant for the summer.
It is very easy to reach from Termini train station, there is a direct train for Castel Gandolfo that takes you there in 35 min and the return ticket costs around 4 Eur. Do count in that you need 15 min walk down the hill in order to go to the lake and 15 min up the hill from the train station to reach the residence.