Castel Gandolfo, is one of I Borghi Piu’ Belli D’Italia in the Castelli Romani Park. An elegant village overlooking Lake Albano, the summer residence of the pontiffs and its beautiful gardens’ numerous panoramic views, a beautiful square with two works designed by Bernini: the Collegiate Church of St. Thomas of Villanova and the Fountain, the oldest mailbox in Italy, which is the first mailbox built in 1820.
A sunny day is enough to make us want to visit one of the most picturesque villages in the Castelli Romani. Castel Gandolfo, famous for being the summer residence of the popes and its beautiful gardens that house the remains of the Villa of Domitian and the Vatican Farm, is among the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy for its elegant historic center and the beauty of the surrounding nature.
Upon entering the village, at each of the five entry points, citizens and tourists from around the world are greeted by a ceramic dove set on the wall made by local women artisans as a universal sign of peace and welcome.
Moving further inside, one arrives at the square of Castel Gandolfo, which features two works designed by Bernini: the Collegiate Church of St. Thomas of Villanova and the Fountain. It is possible to visit the Pontifical Palace, which houses inside the Pontifical Astronomical Observatory, the so-called Specola Vaticana. Here Guglielmo Marconi made the studies from which radio and modern telephony were born.
The Piazza continues to surprise with the oldest mailbox in Italy, which, is the first mailbox built in 1820 to solve the difficulties of mail delivery at the time. It was precisely through here that the ancient Via Francigena passed, in the section that descended from Rome to Brindisi to lead to Jerusalem. You can also walk the 6-mile stretch between Nemi and Castel Gandolfo alone.
Along the streets of the village, it is easy to find vantage points from which to admire Lake Albano, the surrounding forests, and to reach as far as Rome. At the volcanic lake let’s relax by walking or biking and, why not, take a ride in a canoe, sailboat or electric boat along the Water Trail. It is accessible to all.
You can also visit interesting Roman works overlooking the lake such as the Doric Nymphaeum, the Bergantino Nymphaeum, and the lake’s outlet.
Photos: Visit Lazio