Updated: Oct 2, 2022
Today we travelled to the small town of Gandolfo which is situated about 40min south of the Beda college where the Pontifical Castel of Gandolfo is situated. This has traditionally been known as the reigning Pope's summer holiday residence. This has been since 1608 when Pope Urban VIII commissioned a rebuild of a castle that was originally built in 1200 by the family of Gandolfo from the Genoese region. As of Pope Frances' pontificate he chooses not to use the residence for his summer vacations so it not used during this season anymore. So there is a few spare rooms free? It is situated on one of the highest peaks around the lake Albano the views are spectacular and the air is cool and refreshing and the gardens are immaculate.
P.S. I have it on good authority that we will be staying on the other side of the lake for a week for our first year retreat.
Anyway enjoy the photographs and just imagine spending a couple of weeks weeks break in this spectacular setting.
Palace main entrance.
Popes old motor vehicles mainly used by Pope JPII.
Lake Albano, view from inside the castle.....
and from outside.
The gardens are about half a kilometer walk down from the castle and are formed on top of an old Roman Emperors Palace.
OK, for those who need a bit of a spiritual fix here it is. Just on the other side of the lake Albano hills there is another town called Nemi, which is similarly situated to Gandolfo on a hill overlooking Lake Nemi. There is a small church located there that has a crucifix that was hand carved out of timber form the Holy Lands by a Fria Vincenzo da Bassiano. The story goes that after he sculptured the whole body and crucifix he was unable to complete the face as his hands were so tired, he collapsed in exhausted. When he awoke the next morning he found that the face was already finished. Many miracles have been attributed to the crucifix and many Popes have come to pray in front of it.
Lake Nimes, both it and Lake Albano are formed by old volcanos.