Tours of the Vatican Gardens, one of the hidden treasures of Rome, will resume on May 6, 2013 according to the latest report from the Vatican Museums official website.
The tours were suspended shortly after it was announced that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI would be taking up residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Convent which is located within the Vatican Gardens. There were certain alterations being made to the building that are now complete and on May 2nd he did indeed leave his temporary residence at the Papal Retreat in Castel Gandolfo and is now residing at the former convent.
These tours are separate from tours of the Vatican Museums; however, if you book the tour then your ticket will also include admission to the Vatican Museums. You must order tickets in advance online.
We doubt that you are going to get a glimpse of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI because that would undoubtedly create too much distraction. But you never know…maybe you will get to see his cat!