In between the ruins of ancient Rome and the baroque architectures, the Eternal city also offers hidden corners of paradise, where nature rules.One of them is the Rose Garden, a piece of heaven collecting over 1100 species of roses from all over the world, in the very heart of ancient Rome.It is located on the slope of the Aventine hill, right in front of Circus Maximus (you can get off the metro station Circo Massimo to get there) with an incredible view of the Imperial palaces on the Palatine hill, on the opposite side of the Circus.
As everything in this city, also the Rose Garden has very ancient origins. In fact, in this very place, ancient Romans celebrated the goddess Flora, to which they built a temple which was located here since the third century BC.
In later times the garden became land for vegetable gardens and vineyards, until in the 1600s it turned into the garden and cemetery of the Jewish community.In the 1930s the Jewish community decided to move their cemetery elsewhere (to the Verano cemetery, also in Rome) and this land was donated to the city of Rome.The Jewish past of the garden left two marks still visible today: the stone with a Jewish inscription as you enter.. and the plan of the garden itself, which recalls the shape of the Jewish Menorah!
The project of this garden comes from the idea of Mary Galey Senni, an American countess who was a great passionate of flowers and a botanic expert. She got married to an Italian count, moved to Italy and settled to stay.
The 1100 species of roses hosted in this garden are coming from many different parts of the world, including, for example, China and Mongolia!Each rose plant has a little tag at the bottom with name, year and country of origin, so you can play and search for the furthest country or the oldest species.I was so amazed by how many species of roses you can actually encounter here, many of them are so peculiar and unique as I have never seen before.
At the beginning of this article I wrote that here nature rules. You realize that when you see that obviously not all the plants bloom at the same time, as different plants have different blooming periods during the year. That is also why the Rose Garden is not a place open all-year-round, but only a few weeks during spring and fall, so make sure you check the website for updated opening dates and times! http://www.060608.it/it/cultura-e-svago/verde/giardini-ville-e-parchi-urbani/roseto-comunale.htmlThere is both an Italian and English version of this web page (you can change the language on the top-right corner). However I’ve noticed that sometimes the English version is not up to date, so check both, and get some help from Google Translate, or you can contact me if you need any help!
This place is picture-perfect so make sure you bring your camera and a nice outfit to bring back home some great pictures! 😉
The rose garden also hosts an International Contest that takes place each year in May, where rose farmers from all over the world get together to compete with their beautiful roses. The jury that chooses the winners is not entirely made by expert botanists, but it also includes important personalities of culture and social commitment. For example, it seems like in the 1950s Agatha Christie also took part of the jury, under a different name.The roses that won the contests are all located in a specific section of the garden.
To visit the garden you do not need a ticket and there is no need to book, but I recommend you to check the website for the most updated information. http://www.060608.it/it/cultura-e-svago/verde/giardini-ville-e-parchi-urbani/roseto-comunale.html
In short, this is such an amazing place to visit and you can combine it with an itinerary to the Orange Garden (one of the most beautiful panoramic terraces of Rome) and the keyhole through which you can see St Peter’s dome (Santa Maria del Priorato).. all a few steps away and highly recommended!
I hope you enjoyed discovering this place together. Thanks for reading!
See you next time! Ciao! 🙂