Castel Gandolfo is an 8.800 people town near Rome, placed in the district of Castelli Romani. Well known since years to be the summertime residence of the Pope, Castel Gandolfo is considered one of the most beautiful and evocative place in Italy. During the summertime is possible to take part to the papal hearing, every Wednesday at 10 o’ clock in the residence of the Pope.
The territory of Castel Gandolfo is extended along the coast of Lake Albano and for a part is included in the Regional Park of Castelli Romani. In the area, there are some interesting archaeological sites such as the remains of Domitian’s Villa and sites of artistic-religious interest as the Collegiate Church of Saint Thomas from Villanova designed by Bernini.
Where rises now Castel Gandolfo, in the pre-roman era, there was the famous city of Alba Longa founded by Ascanio, that later was destroyed by Romans. In the age from the Republic Rome to the Imperial Rome, Castel Gandolfo starts to be one of the most appreciated summer destination of Romans, with its great villa and historical residences where lords went on vacation, as the beautiful Domitian’s Villa.
During the Middle Age Castel Gandolfo become property of the Counts of Tuscolo and then of the Gandolfi family. In 1221, the castle become a Savelli’s possession. Because of economics debts of Savellis, the castle has been included in the list of the Holy See. Later important public works has been made, as the tunnel that links Albano Laziale to Castel Gandolfo. In 1628 the Pope Urbano VIII was the first that stayed in Castel Gandolfo while in 1798, after the French entrance, Castel Gandolfo was united to Albano.
When the Pope Pio VII come back the town returns under the Pope Government up to September 1870. On 20th September 1870 with the taking of Porta Pia and the entrance of bersaglieri in Rome officially ended Papal State. Pope Pio IX and his successor up to 1929 didn’t enter in the Palace of the Popes but on the 11th of February 1929 with the publications of Patti Lateranensi, Benito Mussolini gave to the new born State of the Vatican City the property of the Palace of the Popes with the adjoining buildings for an overall of 44 hectares.