After arriving at Rome's Fiumicino airport, Pell was driven close to the Vatican, where he was seen entering a building where he has an apartment, surrounded by media.
Cardinal Pell told reporters it was "lovely to be back," but did not respond to other questions. A protester was heard shouting "We hate you."
Pell left Rome in July 2017 to face charges of sexually assaulting two choirboys in the late 1990s. He was convicted in December 2018 and served just over a year in jail before Australia's High Court overturned the conviction in April.
The 79-year-old cardinal had been living in Sydney since his release.