Unbelievable but true! Rome is the city with the most green spaces in Europe. The parks and villas in Rome are mainly due to the popes. There were estates and hunts of the noble families of Rome. The largest villa is Villa Pamphili in northwestern Rome. It is the destination of walkers, joggers and Sunday excursions.
The most famous is Villa Borghese, which is located just outside the city walls above Piazzale Flaminio. It comprises the world-famous Borghese Gallery, a theater, an open-air cinema, a horse race, a lake and a children’s playhouse. At its edge is the Roman zoo.
In the Roman parks and villas you will get to know another side of the city. You can take a break and enjoy nature.
These are the most beautiful parks and villas in Rome:
Above Piazza del Popolo rises the Pincio. In antiquity, noble families had their gardens here, later vineyards were created here. Napoleon, who occupied Rome with his troops from 1808 to 1814, demanded the construction of a public park for the inhabitants of Rome. A few years later, under the direction of the architect Valadier, the present-day ensemble of Piazza del Popolo and Pincio’s terrace as well as the public park were built.
France is still present on the Pincio. The church Trinità dei Monti above the Spanish Steps was commissioned in 1482 by King Louis XII. The Spanish Steps was funded by the legacy of a French diplomat and inaugurated in 1725. 800 feets further on is the Villa Medici with the French Academy in Rome.
The terrace of the Pincio is a splendid vantage point over the city of Rome. On the occasion of the festival of the city patrons Peter and Paul on June 29th, a big firework will be set up here.
In the park of the Pincio you will find a water-powered clock. It was invented by the priest Giovan Battista Embriaco in 1867. The facility was designed by an architect from Switzerland, Joachim Ersoch.
In the park of the Pincio there is also a puppet theater. Screenings will be on Saturday at 4pm:30 and on Sunday at 11:30am.
After the villa was bought by the Italian state in 1901, it became publicly accessible in 1902. The villa has an area of 200 acres and has nine entrances.
From the Pincio you can reach Villa Borghese directly via a pedestrian bridge. Entrances to the villa can be found in Piazzale Flaminio and Porta Pinciana, opposite Via Vittorio Veneto. On the other side of the villa is the zoo.
The villa can be reached with the tram lines 3 and 19 to the zoo, stop Bioparco, with the tram line 2 to Piazzale Flaminio and with the metro A station Flaminio. Several bus lines, 61, 89, 160, 490, 495 and 590, pass through the villa.
At the edge of the villa, on the Viale del Muro Torto, there is a large parking garage with direct access to the Spanish Square. At the garage there is also a large sports center with swimming pool and sauna.
The Gallery Borghese is located on the east side of the villa, bus stop Pinciana / Museo Borghese, lines 53, 63, 83, 92, 223 360, 910.
The hill of Gianicolo rises above the district of Trastevere with a maximum height of 290 feet. It is one of the most beautiful vantage points in Rome.
Buses 115 and 870 will take you up the hill. You can walk up from the world famous Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital on Passeggiata del Gianicolo. From Trastevere you can take Via di Porta San Pancrazio.
On the Gianicolo Garibaldi succeeded in 1849 to defend the Roman Republic against the French troops who wanted to restore the Papal State. The statues on the Gianicolo show this story and its exponents.
At the Salita del Gianicolo you will see a lighthouse donated to the city of Rome by Italians emigrated to Argentina. Next to it is the Villa Lante, a 16th century townhouse. In it is the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae. Next to the villa is a small park with the wall of the Roman Constitution from 1849.
Across the street, an equestrian statue shows the wife of Garibaldi, with a child on her arms. Anita Garibaldi was a Brazilian freedom fighter and was married since 1842 with Garibaldi. She had four children with him and she was with her husband despite pregnancy in the fighting in 1849. She died of malaria in the same year near Ravenna. As you can see on the monument, she was a good and battle-tested rider.
Further up the Gianicolo is an equestrian statue of Garibaldi with scenes from the fight for freedom.
Nothing to do with the fight for freedom has the cannon, which is right below the terrace. Since 1847 Pope Pius IX has requested a shot every day at noon to coordinate the noonday bells of the churches.
For the children there is a puppet theater and a carousel in the park. Shows of the theater are on Saturday, as soon as enough spectators have gathered, and on Sunday 10:30 – 12 clock.
At the end of the park is the Museum of the Roman Republic and the memory of Garibaldi. Next to it is the Villa Aurelia from the 17th century. It is now owned by the American Academy in Rome, which organizes conferences, concerts and cultural events.
800 feet further on, at the beginning of Via Aurelia Antica, there is an entrance to Villa Doria Pamphili, the largest villa in Rome.
The Villa Pamphili is the largest villa park in Rome and an oasis of tranquility on working days. The park starts at the Gianicolo Hill with the via Aurelia Antica out of town sinistral. It is open all year during the day. You can find more entrances on via Leone XIII (bus lines 31, 33, 791, 982) and on via di Donna Olimpia.
The villa is very versatile. There are hills and valleys and two small lakes. The mansion building in the central part, the Casino del Bel Respiro, is used by the government for institutional purposes. There you will find statues, fountains, artificial caves and a theater.
On the Via Leone XIII, the Vivi Bistrot offers an interesting gastronomic offer.
The villa is closed at night.
Visit our photo gallery of Villa Pamphili in Spring, Summer and Winter:
The Villa Sciarra is a small park on the janiculum Hill, within the city walls. At the edge of the villa you will find a walk along the walls of the Gianicolo (Mura Gianicolensi).
Villa Torlonia is a small park on via Nomentana. It is designed as a typical Italian garden with some characteristic buildings where exhibitions take place. Unfortunately the condition of the facility is only mediocre and many areas are blocked off.
Villa Ada is the second largest villa park in Rome and is located on Via Salaria. This park has a large plant and animal stock as well as a riding school.
The air is fresh and oxygen rich in the villa.
For a nice walk, the area around the Coliseum is ideal. It is especially beautiful on the Palatine. There is a small garden and it is one of the most beautiful vantage points. For the Palatine, the same tickets apply as for the Coliseum.
Opposite rises the Celio. At the top you will find the Villa Celimontana, which unfortunately is quite neglected. Very picturesque, however, is the descent through the Via di San Paolo della Croce, passing the Basilica of St. John and Paul.
Northeast of the Coliseum rises the Oppio hill. In the underground is the villa of Emperor Nero, the Domus Aurea. At the end of the park, a square bears Martin Luther’s name. Read also an afternoon on Caelius and Oppius hill.
Opposite the Palatine, on the other side of the Circus Maximus, is the rose garden of the municipality of Rome, at the beginning of the Palatine Hill. It is open in spring and autumn.
There is also plenty of green from the Circus Maximus past the Baths of Caracalla towards Via Latina and Via Appia Antica.
Appia Antica – the queen of the streets. It is well suited for long walks and bike rides and offers many archeological attractions. Bus services are the line 118 from Piazza Venezia and the line 218 from San Giovanni. Many details can be found in my report about the Appia Antica.
The park of the aqueducts is located in the south-west between Via Appia Nuova and Via Tuscolana. Nearby Metro stations of line A are Subaugusta and Giulio Agricola. Here you can walk along the ruins of the aqueducts and get some fresh air and sun.