Castel Gandolfo is a city in the province of Rome. 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”.
The two telescopes of the Vatican Observatory were moved from Rome to Castel Gandolfo in 1934 and still used until the 1980s. However, the lights of Rome now render them pretty useless and the Vatican Observatory is these days hosted by the University of Arizona.
There are hourly (:21) trains from Rome’s Termini station.
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.
*Castelli Romani. Castel Gandolfo is situated on the northwesterly edge of this area of attractive towns and villages.
*Frascati, about 10km away, is famous for its wines and Renaissance villas.