Roman Villas & Gardens in Rome
Since its most ancient times, Rome has been characterized by the presence
of vast green areas. Following the presentation of the Greek culture
in the 2nd Century B.C. it became the vogue for rich and illustrious
Romans to attach their names to sumptuous gardens, called Horti. These
fell into decline with the crisis of the Roman Empire, and only a thousand
years later during the fervor of the Renaissance did they become one
of the most concrete symbols of the return of classicism.
Today, the city is still able to offer numerous hectares of land used
as public parks and gardens, where it is possible to take pleasant walks,
immersed in mother nature. The Villa Doria Pamphilj, with over 180 hectares
of land, is the largest of the Roman villas. Built by a nephew of the
Pope Innocent X, was constructed on this site, because it lay near the
Vatican, the presence of water and the quality of the air.
An underground passage was constructed linking the Villa to the Vatican.
Along the sides of the garden it's still possible to see the arches
of the aqueduct built by Emperor Trajan in the 2nd Century and restored
by Pope Paul V in the 1600's. At the point where the aqueduct crosses
the road, there is an arch nicknamed "tiradiavoli" (devil
puller), because according to legend it was here that the carriage driven
by devils and carrying the ghost of the sister-in-law of pope Innocent
X, Olimpia Maidalchini would pass-by.
For plant lovers, visit the "Orto Botanico", these botanical
gardens originate from the garden for the cultivation of medicinal plants
created in the Vatican by Pope Nicholas III in the late 13th Century-
The present-day gardens were established in 1883 and contain over 3,500
cultivated species. One of the gardens focal points is the enormous
plant-tree that is 300-400 years old.
The municipal Rose Garden, one of the most beautiful in the world,
also thanks to the scenic context in which it stands, was once the cemetery
for Jewish community in Rome from 1645 to 1934, the year it was decided
to change it into a public park. The rose garden was founded in 1950,
and it still reflects its Jewish heritage in the shape and form of the
central staircase that is in the form of a seven-branched candelabrum.
Rising up above the city, and affording magnificent views of Rome is
the Promenade of the Janiculum. Created in 1880, and dedicated to Guiseppe
Garibaldi. From this point you can really admire the numerous gardens
and countryside that seems to permeate every part of the city. Every
day at noon, the hour is announced by the firing of a cannon.
The Villa Sciarra, is also a haven for plant-lovers. In the 19th Century,
owners Mr and Mrs Wurts transformed the park into a true paradise, full
of rare plants and embellished with an original sculptural decoration
coming from an 18th Century Lombard villa. This enchanted place charmed
and fascinated Gabriele D'Annunzio, who used the location for one of
The Garden of Orange Trees, was created in 1932 in commemoration of
the Spanish orange tree brought to Rome by St. Dominic in 1220. This
tree, according to tradition was the first planted in Italy, still miraculously
exists in the garden of the monastery of Santa Sabina and can be seen
through a hole in the wall of the church portico.
Above the Piazza del Popolo lies the Pincio, the first public garden
planned in Rome as desired by Napoleon. It leads into lovely open park-land,
where delightful views of Rome abound, and you'll discover delightful
villas that give a true sense of the countryside in Rome, the Eternal