Romantic holidays in Rome: with its over 1000 species of roses, the municipal rose garden on the slopes of the Gianicolo is one of the most romantic places in the capital
The Italian capital, regardless of the reasons why you visit it, always is a source of surprises. Rome and the Colosseum, the Circus Maximus, the Vatican museums, the hundreds of activities and the beauties throughout the Roman territory, offer tourists something new every day. But travellers looking for a charming place, but also a theme with the "romantic" spirit of the trip, need something more. The Municipal Rose Garden of the Gianicolo is certainly a great destination for it.
The previous history of the Roseto
At the beginning, the municipal rose garden was located on the Oppio hill, where it was destroyed during the Second World War; it was then rebuilt where - until 1934 - the Jewish cemetery had been situated, for 300 years, built on a previous area for agricultural use and in fact called "Ortaccio degli Ebrei" ("the bad vegetable garden of Jewish people"). In 1950, the Municipality and the Jewish Community agreed to recreate the rose garden on that area, empty after 1934 and the displacement of the cemetery in an area of the Verano cemetery, where still 1100 species of roses are situated. A fun fact about the current position is that, according to Tacitus, the place was used in Ancient Rome for the "floralia", rites in honour of the Goddess Flora.
The birth of the rose garden is also an idea of the Countess Mary Gailery Senni, who decided to donate roses to the Municipality due to her newborn passion for flowers and the charm aroused by the Bagatelle rose garden in Paris, in 1884. Wanting to create a rose garden in Rome, in 1932 Prince Boncompagni helped her to realize it, unlike the municipality that used donations to decorate the Pincio, causing the anger and disappointment of the countess.
Why is it so beautiful?
It is certainly not the only one in Italy, but due to some peculiarities, it can be considered one of the most beautiful rose gardens in the world. If you look it from above, the structure is a menorah, the seven-branched chandelier of the Jewish tradition. At the entrance, there is also a stele of Moses to remember the previous use of the site. The rose species, more than 1100, come from more than twenty countries and are treated so that the incredible natural diversity does not get lost; they are so many to be divided into "botanical roses", "old roses" and "modern roses" and, in addition to them, "new" roses are created from all over the world, by grafts and other means: after two years inside the rose garden they participate to the "Rome Award" for the new varieties.
The colours, the smells and the diversity mixed together and placed in a rather restricted context: 10 hectares, crossed by Via della Murcia, set to offer a truly unique experience and to give visitors a personal itinerary, giving priority to their interests. One of the several positive points making the place magic is the splendid view: the ruins of the visible Palatine Hill, the dome of the Synagogue and the Monte Mario Observatory, as well as the rest of the human frame. A show enriched by the certainly fascinating panorama of the Eternal City.
When is it possible to visit it?
Obviously, nature allows you to visit the rose garden only during the spring and summer periods, usually from the beginning of Spring, April 21st until October, Sundays and holidays included, from 8.30am to 7.30pm; during the rest year it is closed and it is therefore necessary to plan your stay in the capital during this period to be able to admire it. It is worth noting that there were "shorter" periods where the park was sometimes open only until June, but it is all very connected with weather conditions. However, it is important to consider that some of the varieties of roses present have their precise flowering period differently to others and if you wish to make the most of beauty, surely the spring and early summer are the best periods.
How to get there and how much does it cost?
The rose garden is just above the Circus Maximus, so you just have to take underground B towards Laurentina and get off at the Circo Massimo stop. From there, take Via della Fonte del Fauno and turn into Piazzale Ugo la Malfa, then take Via di Valle Murcia, on the left. Everything can be reached on foot, but there are also means that could help you move, in case you need it. The entrance fee is 5 euros on weekdays, 7 euros on holidays and the price is cut of 50% for groups over 15 people. Moreover, entry is free for students, disabled people, children up to 14 years and for people over 65.
The perfect destination for a couple's holiday
Given its evocative beauty and the purely romantic nature of the floral meaning of the rose, the rose garden is the perfect visit to have moments dedicated to romanticism and certainly appreciable memories, as well as pictures of rare beauty. Finding "couple" places in Rome, specifically dedicated to enjoying the moment lived together, is anything but difficult and the presence of the rose garden confirms the ease with which Rome is well suited to weekends or holiday periods lived for love, or who knows, simply visiting places with close friends, to share experiences with them. Being near the Circo Massimo, moreover, visit the rose garden and then follow an amateur tour of various stages, to see different types of places.
The municipal rose garden is an experience that should not really be missed during a holiday in Rome, or even by Roman citizens themselves. Among scents, colours and history, the place gives emotions and tranquility, cared for and certainly charged with a meaningful emotional meaning, deriving from the way it was born, how it was created and how it is thrived. A small corner of greenery within Rome and an important botanical addition among the thousand activities of the Eternal City.