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The Green Side of Rome: Parks and Gardens you should not miss

written by Dajana 19. February 2019
The Green Side of Rome: Parks and Gardens you should not miss

Rome is home to numerous gardens and parks that are worth a visit. We put together the most beautiful parks, gardens and panoramic viewing platforms in Rome for you!

Today, Rome covers a much larger area and has expanded further into the countryside. As a result, there is a variety of panoramic views allowing you to take in Rome’s unique beauty. Here are some of the best spots to see the Eternal City covered in warm reds, pinks and oranges.

1. La Terrazza del Gianicolo: The famous Janiculum Terrace in Rome 

Although the second-tallest hill in Rome, the Janiculum hill is not part of the famous Seven Hills Rome was built on. The Gianicolo is definitely one of the best locations for a scenic view of the Eternal city. Simply walk up the hill when in Trastevere. If you’re fit, the short but intense 15-20 minutes won’t be a huge problem. Otherwise check out the public transport possibilities. If it’s your first time in Rome, I recommend you to go to the Terrazza del Gianicolo viewing platform. From here you’ll be able to have a look at almost the whole city. The best way to get to know Rome!

Insider tip: From Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere you’ll only walk for about 15 minutes to reach the Terrazza del Gianicolo. Make sure to be there shortly before sunset to see the city covered in the most magical colors.

2. Villa Pamphili: Rome’s Secret Park 

A visit to Roma can definitely be exhausting, given the tourist masses and the heat during hot summer months. At some point you’ll be longing for a calm moment. Most visitors usually end up in the well-known Villa Borghese park that is in the city center. If you are looking for a less touristic spot, you should definitely visit Villa Pamphili. The park around the villa is actually Rome’s largest green area stretching on a surface of 180 hectares. Located on the Janiculum Hill, Villa Pamphili is largely overlooked by tourists but loved by Romans. Enjoy a calm moment under the shades of the pine trees and check out the extremely manicured gardens.

Insider tip: Villa Pamphili seems a bit off the typical tourist map, but is actually just behind the Gianicolo. Simply walk up from Trastevere or jump on one of the several busses that pass the main entrance (e.g. bus 710 and 870).

3. Il Roseto Comunale: Rome’s Rose Garden on Aventine Hill

The best times to visit Rome are in spring, early summer and autumn. During these months it is usually warm and sunny, yet still not too crowded. If you come to Rome between April and July, make sure to visit the municipal rose garden. Located on the eastern side of the Aventine hill and right next to Circo Massimo, this curated rose garden reopens every year on April 21st when the roses blossom and when Rome celebrates it’s birthday! The garden is home to more than 1,000 different varieties of roses and is free of charge.

Insider tip: Start your tour at the Colosseum and walk over to Circo Massimo. Have a short break at the rose garden. Afterwards check out the next highlight: the Orange Garden. 

4. Giardino degli Aranci: The Orange Garden on Aventine Hill

This will forever be my personal favorite spot in Rome. I come here every time I’m in Rome, gaze over the magnificent city and just relax in one of the many shaded spots. The Giardino degli Aranci is Rome’s orange garden on Aventine Hill, only a few minutes walking from the Roseto Comunale. From here you’ll look out over the Tiber and the west of the historical center. Gaze over Rome from one of its calmer panoramic viewing platforms since the Giardino degli Aranci is a bit hidden and not too well known by visitors. Enjoy a break, bring a book or your travel journal and reload your energy in this beautiful setting.

Insider tip: Did you hear about the keyhole in Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta? It’s just a little further along the street and famous for framing the St Peter’s cupola perfectly.

5. Villa Borghese & Terrazza del Pincio

The Terrazza del Pincio lies within the gorgeous Villa Borghese park. The Pincio Terrace connects Piazza del Popolo to the hillside. You can simply walk up the stairs from Piazza del Popolo or the ones in Piazza di Spagna. Personally I prefer the second option. While walking over to the Pincio Terrace you can enjoy an even more interesting view over the city from many different perspectives. At the top of the Piazza di Spagna simply turn left and walk over to the Villa Borghese park and the Pincio Terrace.

Insider tip: Since the Terrazza del Pincio faces the west, come here at sundown to see the city at golden hour!

6. Villa Ada

This is one of the favorite parks of locals living in northern Rome. It was also one of the parks where I used to hang out when I lived in Rome. Romans come to Villa Ada on Saturdays and Sundays to spend some time with their friends in the sun. Why you should visit this park? If your stay in Rome is a bit longer, check out some of the hidden gems in the North of the city. Villa Ada is definitely one of them. You’ll be surprised how calm and relaxing Rome can be once you are away from of the historical city center.

Insider tip: The international music festival Roma Incontro il Mondo takes place at Villa Ada each summer. Check out the line up before traveling to Rome and come to Villa Ada for a unique live music experience.

7. Villa Torlonia

This Villa is definitely one that you most probably won’t find on your Rome itinerary. While I studied in Rome I came here often for a walk, run or to simply relax in the sun. Known as the former residence of Mussolini from 1925 to 1943, Villa Torlonia is now a public park and home to two museums: the Casino Nobile and the Museum of Casina delle Civette. The villa was originally designed by Valadier in the early 19th century for Alessandro Torlonia who bought the property. The museums feature some of the artworks bought by the Torlonia family who used to be one of the major collectors of art during the 19th century.

Insider tip: the park and gardens are free to the public and concerts are often held there during summer.

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