The marble-floored estate was acquired by the Vatican in 1596. The first pope to use it as a summer residence was Urban VIII in the 17th Century.
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, who resigned in 2013, was the last pontiff to use the villa as a summer residence.
A private chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Czestochowa is one of 20 rooms in the private apartment. Tourists usually came to Castel Gandolfo to receive blessings from the Pope when the papal court moved to the residence for months at a time.
Pope Francis has however renounced the luxuries of the villa just as he refused to move into the sumptuous Vatican apartment and, instead, opted to live in a modest hotel.