Castel GandolfoRome. It is in the area southeast of Rome known as the Castelli Romani and is mainly known as the summer residence of the Pope. It overlooks the 10km circumference Lake Albano, an extinct volcanic crater, which is a popular destination for Romans on summer weekends and has many restaurants. Castel Gandolfo is part of the “Dan Brown” tour, having featured in “The Da Vinci Code”.
By road follow the Appia Nuova, which begins at San Giovanni basilica in Rome. A few kilometers past Ciampino Airport take a left up the hill to Castel Gandolfo.
Palazzo Apostolico di Castel GandolfoThe Pope's summer residence is a 17th century building in the centre of the town. Popes Pius XII (1958) and Paul VI (1978) died at Castel Gandolfo. Part of the palace is built on the ruins of the summer home of the Roman Emperor Domitian. These extensive ruins are fascinating but, unfortunately, not open to the public without making special arrangements. Since 2016 the palace has been opened to the public as a museum.
Lago AlbanoYou can walk or run all the way round the lake. This is mainly road but there are or so that follow a rough track through a wood. Swimming is possible and there are few small beaches of volcanic sand.
phone: +39 06 9360004address: Via Antonio Gramsci n°4Well-regarded restaurant with great views of the lake, good food and an excellent wine list. Jane, who with her husband runs the restaurant, is Australian, so look for delicacies such as “Patate al Australiano (Australian potatoes)”. The restaurant also has a wine bar in the basement, built into the volcanic rock and extending almost under the Pope’s Palace.