The Gandolfo Castel

Gandolfo Castel is a town located 24 km southeast of Rome, Italy. The GandolfoCastel is on the Alban Hills, overlooking Lake Albano. The town has a totalpopulation of approximately 8840 people, and it is said to be one of the mostscenic towns in Italy. The Gandolfo Castel hosts the Apostolic Palace of CastleGandolfo, which is used as a summer residence and vacation retreat for thePope. The Gandolfo Castel is located within the borders of Castle Gandolfo, butit has extraterritorial status as one of the properties of the Holy See andtherefore it is not under the jurisdiction of Italy.

Themain source of water for the Gandolfo Castel is Lake Albano, which is oftencalled Lake Castel Gandolfo. This place is surrounded by several summerresidences, villas and cottages; some of which were built during the 17thcentury. The Gandolfo Castel also houses the Stadio Olimpico, which staged rowingevents during the Rome Olympics. There are also several archeological siteswithin The Gandolfo Castel, among them Emissario del Lago Albano and theremains of the Villa of Domitian. It is also an area full of artistic interest,such as the Collegiate Church of St. Thomas of Villanova, which was designed byGian Bernini Lorenzo.

Justlike most towns in Rome, Italy, Gandolfo Castel is also a town full ofactivities. There are many events that take place in the town on variousoccasions. There is a local market which takes place on Friday mornings, manyfestivals, theatres, artwork, schools, archeological sites, canoeing, golf,rugby, football, etc. The town offers many hotels which are constantly full ofvisitors. Some of the fabulous hotels in The Gandolfo Castel and near the towninclude Hotel Castel Gandolfo, Hotel Castel Vecchio, Hotel Villa Degli Angeli, andmore. The abundance of hotels displays the prominence of the town as a holidaydestination. Visitors frequent the town, especially during summer, to enjoy thefresh air, cool atmosphere and spectacular views in the town and thesurrounding areas. Limited parking for tourists is available within the boundsof Gandolfo Castel.

Butmore important to the Catholic Church and its followers, the Gandolfo Castel isthe Papal residence during summer. The Pope stays in this place during summertimes, and also holds occasional special meetings with his delegates at thesite. Recently, during the election of the new Pope following the resignationof Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Benedict retired to the Gandolfo Castel during theelection process.

Despitethe fact that Castel Gandolfo is a town full of tourism, agriculture, games,art, and other activities; the town hold a great importance to the Catholic believersas it is the Pope's second home and the place where he spends most of his timeoutside Vatican City.