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Castel Gandolfo is located about 30 km southeast of Rome in the Lazio region in Italy and well known for being the summer residence of the Pope.
It is a small village with a population less that 10,000 spread over an area of 24 square kilometers and found in the hills overlooking the Lake of Albano, at a height of 380 meters.
The first pope to come to Castel Gandolfo was Pope Clement VIII but the building of the residence began with Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) by the design by architect Carlo Maderno in 1624.
The ruins of the ancient castle was chosen as the new site for the palace.
During the reign of Pope Alexander VII (1655-1667) Bernini designed the church of Saint Thomas of Villanova found in the main square as well as the fountain also found there.
The palace remained vacant from 1870 to 1929 and during the papacy of the important Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) the adjoining Villa Barberini was added to the original residence. Coats of arms and other inscriptions of various popes found in the residence are witness to additional modifications made there.

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