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The Pope's Summer Palace Now Open for Tours

For the first time ever, the centuries-old residence intended as a summer retreat for popes has been opened for public viewing.

The Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo, located along Lake Albano about 25 kilometers (16 mi) outside of Rome, has 20 rooms you can tour, including a library, study, chapel, and bedroom, all set aside for the use of the Catholic leader while he's on vacation.

The current Pope Francis isn't big on taking vacations or on sitting in the lap of luxury, however. In fact, he's only visited the palace a handful of times and has never spent the night.

That doesn't mean the building is without historical significance. During World War II, Pope Pius XII hid Jewish women here while they were fleeing the Nazis. Two popes died in the bedchamber. And John Paul II had a swimming pool put in.

Tickets to see the palace are 10 euros (US$10.89) per adult; you can book a tour through the Vatican Museums website