Pope Francis has decided to turn the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo into a public museum, after being used as a private summer residence for popes since the 17th century. Pope Francis has only been to the spot a few times himself, and has never spent the night there.
The residence is located outside of Rome on Lake Albano, and has opened 20 rooms that have never been seen by the public before. These include a bedroom, a library, and a chapel.
There is a lot of history there, including it being where Popes Pius XII and Paul VI passed away. During the Nazi occupation of World War II, many Jewish women gave birth there while being hidden by Pope Pius XII.
Only 15 of the 33 pontiffs who were eligible to stay in the residence did so. John Paul II perhaps made the most of it when he had a swimming pool installed and then was subsequently photographed swimming. Pope Francis on the other hand is not big on taking vacations, or requiring luxury.
Tours of the palace can be booked on the Vatican’s website.