Take a tour of the centuries-old papal summer retreat in Italy

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy -- For centuries popes have relaxed at a private scenic retreat outside Rome during the summer. Now for the first time, the pope’s bedroom and other intimate spaces are open to the public.

Take a look at the view, and you can see why popes have been coming here.


Castel Gondolfo, Italy

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But Pope Francis is the “People’s Pope.” So opening his own, private apartment for the people to see falls right in line with that reputation, reports CBS News correspondent Seth Doane.

Francis opened Castel Gandolfo to tourists in 2014, but the public has never been allowed to see these rooms until today.

Take a look in the most private of rooms, the pope’s bedroom, remarkably simple. 


CBS News’ Seth Doane inside the pope’s bedroom at Castel Gandolfo

CBS News

Pope’s bed at Castel Gandolfo

CBS News

What one pope does is not binding for the next, so it is possible that the room could -- under a future pope -- be off-limits to the public again.

Just off the pope’s bedroom is his private chapel. 


The pope’s private chapel at Castel Gandolfo

CBS News

The pope’s predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, were regulars, but Pope Francis has never spent a night here.

He has done away with formalities: the custom-made red papal shoes and the bulletproof Mercedes, instead using a Kia for the popemobile. So turning over his “summer residence” to tourists is just the next step.