How did the Vatican Gardens Begin?

The exclusive gardens of the Vatican are a tranquil paradise away from the crowds. They make up a third of the entire Vatican City, stretching across 109 acres hosting history, art, and a wide range of wildlife.

The Garden’s Birth

The gardens began in 1279 when Pope Nicholas III planted a simple orchard, lawn, and garden. Originally meant for the cultivation of medicinal plants, protection for his residence, and a place for tranquil reflection. The garden expanded to a playground for the Popes and a backdrop to religious beliefs and art movements. Throughout history, each Pope would add their own part of the garden, whether it was issuing a new statue by a famous artist during that time. Or by extending the gardens to a topical themed display. Nowadays, the garden is full of medieval fortifications, ancient buildings and art monuments that date back to the 9th century. Promising a beautiful blend of history, art and religion within the stunning greenery.

What you can see in the Gardens

The gardens are not just full of tranquil greenery, but artworks, grottoes, monuments, and stunning fountains. Within the area, there are three different landscaping styles; English, French and Italian. Each area as different flora that compliments the artworks that line the walking paths. Noteworthy attractions include the medieval Saint John’s Tower, which promises a jaw-dropping view of the gardens and the surrounding city. the Gardens. As well as the Fountain of the Eagle, which is a spectacular fountain that represents a return of water to the Vatican from the Acqua Paola.

How to see the Gardens

The Vatican gardens are quite the exclusive place, only letting in a select few people in per day. Visitors must pre-book beforehand, as availability sells out fast. Not all days are open to the public, so it’s best to check the schedule when you arrive in Rome. Due to these restrictions, joining a two-hour guided tour is the only way to visit the gardens. These include three different types of tours, the Official Vatican Tour Guide, the Private Tour Gardens, or the open bus tour. The type you choose will depend on your interests. If you are looking for a tranquil and private journey, its best to join the private tour that is only yourself and your guide. Otherwise, if you are interested in a full day of Vatican attractions, the open bus take you not just to the gardens but to other exceptional attractions.

Check out our popular Vatican Museums & Gardens Tour today!

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