Villas and parks in Rome, free tours of the “green gems” of the Capital

Villa.torlonia.casina.delle.civetteThis article leads us to discover some of the green spaces of Rome. Public parks in the capital are full of history and charm that a walk through the nature Roman is one of those emotions that feed their own welfare.
We discover then that the Department of Environmental Protection of Roma Capitale offers free guided tours in the most important parks and villas in Rome: Villa Pamphili, Martyrs’ Park Forte Bravetta, Plant Nursery of St. Sixtus, Villa Celimontana, Villa Torlonia, Villa Borghese and Plant Nursery of St. Sixtus.

For each visit it was studied a didactic , historical , botanists tours with suggested routes to discover the most significant botanical species (by diffusion, feature or rarity) and individual veteran trees and large size,


Villas and parks, they return the free tours between “green gems” of the Capital

Free Walks -tours on Villa Pamphili, Villa Celimontana, the Martyrs’ Park of Forte Bravetta, Villa Borghese, back after the summer break.
You can visit the great historic and natural heritage of the city of Rome.
Thanks to the activities of the Department of Environmental Protection of Roma Capitale also this season you can find these free real “green gems” of the city.
Each didactic visit presents botanical species most significant.

The tours, which take place throughout the year (except August), they are totally free and can be booked by schools, associations and individuals. The number of participants for each tour goes from a minimum of 6 to a maximum of 25.


Villa Pamphili

The Villa Doria Pamphili is a seventeenth-century villa with what is today the largest landscaped public park in Rome, Italy. It is located in the quarter of Monteverde, on the Gianicolo (or the Roman Janiculum), just outside the Porta San Pancrazio in the ancient walls of Rome where the ancient road of the Via Aurelia commences.
It began as a villa for the Pamphili [1] family and when the line died out in the eighteenth century, it passed to Prince Giovanni Andrea IV Doria from which time it has been known as the Villa Doria Pamphili (Wikipedia)

Villa-PamphiliSito Web park:

  1. Route from Porta San Pancrazio (Largo 3 June 1849) at the Garden Theatre (below Villa Algardi). {google_map}41.887635, 12.459089{/google_map}
  2. Route from the entrance on Via Aurelia Antica 183 (Old Villa) until the Lily Lake.
  3. Route from the entrance on Via Aurelia Antica 327 (“Villa di Ponente”).{google_map}Via Aurelia Antica, 327, 00165 Roma Italy{/google_map}

Brochure visit Villa Pamphili:

Martyrs’ Park of Forte Bravetta

Visit historical botanical park and inside the Fort

Fort Bravetta, one of the symbolic places of the italian Resistance – notorious for the 111 executions carried out between 1943 and the immediate post-war – was reacquired from the Capitol in 2009 and reopened in 2011 as Martyrs’ Park.

Martyrs of Forte Bravetta were 68 soldiers and partisans, all belonging to the Roman Resistance, shot by the German Command in the Rome occupation period (September 10, 1943 – JUNE 4 1944). The fort, one of fortified buildings that surrounded the city of Rome, is located in the western suburbs of the capital, 3.5 km to the eponymous street. (Wikipedia)

forte-bravetta_romaThe name of the park, dedicated to those who have sacrificed for freedom, is from the real history of the territory, it was a place of execution of partisans and citizens during the Rome Nazi occupation.
The area includes ten hectares of oak and lime trees of protected nature reserve of Valle dei Casali.

Entrance Via Bravetta, 739, 00164 Rome
{google_map}Via di Bravetta, 739, 00164 Roma{/google_map}

The park is located in the sixteenth municipality Hall (XVI Municipio), inside the natural reserve of “Valle dei Casali”, and has an area of ​​10.6 hectares.
Its overriding importance is linked to the fact of holding the Bravetta fort that architectural and  good condition maintenance can only be visited by guided tour.
The fort is part of an entrenched camp built by Vittorio Emanuele and designed by Durand de la Penne to defend the city of Rome.
The fort during the Rome German military occupation was used as a place of execution of death sentences issued by the court of the German war (around 77 people).
Among them Don Giuseppe Morosini, the execution of which is immortalized by the scene in which is played by Aldo Fabrizi, in the movie “Open City” in 1945.
On 29 April 2009, the Forte Bravetta and the park surrounding it become the property of the City of Rome, With a ceremony the appeal launched by Eugenia Latini, daughter of one of the martyrs, was finally collected, avoiding the risks of sale or disposal.

Plant elements Park of Forte Bravetta

Entering from the gate on the north street  of the Fort, along a paved road the park consists of mixed woods of Tilia cordata, Celtis australis, Robinia pseudoacacia, Fraxinus ornus, Quercus pubescens and Laurus nobilis.
The first house that you meet along the road was the residence of the commander of the fort, surrounded by plants of cherry plum, Prunus amygdalus, Nerium oleander hedge of Laurus nobilis.
The paved road ends at the entrance of the Fort to the east on a square where were the buildings of the table, and the housings of the troops and various warehouses; Behind these buildings there is a grove of Celtis australis and Tilia cordata with a sixth plant rather dense.
A small garden with a kiosk in the center and surrounded by Laurus nobilis with Pittosporum tobira and Acacia dealbata is located on the north side of the table.
The Fort is surrounded for all his perimeter by a moat very large and completely covered with natural vegetation of Robinia pseudoacacia, Rhamnus alaternus, Phillyrea latifolia, Phillyrea angustifolia, Ficus carica, Laurus nobilis, Celtis australis, Spartium junceum.
On the south side there are isolated examples of Tilia cordata and on the east side, bordered by street fron there is a line the perimeter of Quercus pubescens, Tilia cordata and Fraxinus ornus.Un large specimen of Quercus Suber is on the edge of the ditch along fron reflecting the original vegetation of the site.

Plant Nursery of St. Sixtus

Visit botany and history of the town’s nursery service Gardens.

    The Plant Nursery of St. Sixtus, adjacent to Villa Celimontana, houses the headquarters of the Service Giardini di Roma Capitale. Here is cultivated with special care the delicate collection of azaleas that every year, in the period of flowering, is exposed along the stairway of Trinita dei Monti, the Spanish Steps. The Nursery is also home to a rich and precious collection of orchids, known for its numerous awards.
Semenzaio-di.San-SistoNursery di San Sisto, Aranciera of San Sisto, Via di Valle of Camene, 11, 00184 Roma
{google_map}41.881287, 12.495336{/google_map}

Starting from 1810 the French government launched a project which provided for the establishment of a nursery for the production of plants and the creation of a service that was taken care of gardens. In Rome, in fact lacked all public parks and, with the establishment of this office, the Napoleonic prefect De Tournon aimed to beautify the green areas of the city and to create a public service that can handle them. It was identified the area of ​​San Sisto and, in 1813 Ippolito Nectoux, then director of the imperial gardens and nurseries, signed a compromise lease. The birth of the Roman Plant Nursery dates back to later. Manutanzione nursery and gardens had separate management and different and the nursery held a service of sale to the public. Among the first provisions of the restored Papal government there was a reduction of the staff of the Service Gardens attendant embellishments. Nectoux fired, took the post of director of the nursery Michelangelo Poggioli, archiater Pontifical, he held this office until 1850. The papal government froze any program of new parks or promenades and gardens service, dedicated solely to the maintenance of the Pincio and the Celio, He crumbled. He did not speak again until the establishment of the City, under Pope Pius IX when caring for walks was assigned to the newly formed municipalities. In 1848, also in order to make the situation less safe nursery of St. Sixtus, the old rent was converted into the first lease period of 29 years and then, in 1859, perpetuates. With the establishment of the City of Rome became service manager Luigi Vescovali councilor, scholar and member of the Roman Academy of Archaeology, which has the merit of the rebirth of the public gardens of Rome. Vescovali right arm and his collaborator as head gardener of the Pincio for twelve years was the French Houssaille Augustus, who succeeded Francis Vachez. These two experienced gardeners were protagonists of the public walks of Rome of those years, but with time and different roles. A Vachez, active from 1852 to 1854, the merit of the reconstruction of the gardens and the reorganization of the nursery. Starting from 1854 Houssaille Augustus, who as head gardener of the Pincio was in practice the director of walks, he took control of maintenance in close collaboration with Vescovali. In 1864 it was published the first official rules of the nursery. In 1866, the death of Houssaille, the function of head gardener was practically covered with Germano Lugli, gardener Pincio until 1870, which played an important role both in the restoration of the Pincio in the realization of the large garden of Terms. After 1870 the Garden service was already outlined in essence even if the Regulation establishing it is only 1883. The lack of qualified staff and the increase in building of the First World War almost completely blocked its activity until 1926, when, with the ‘intervention of Raffaele de Vico and Alberto Galimberti new director of the office, there was a new address and a new management of public parks in Rome. The de Vico restored the existing buildings of the Nursery and Garden settled in the central green area, designed the greenhouses for growing floral and a large orangery for the winter shelter of the more delicate plants.

Villa Celimontana

Botanical tour with historical notes

    The villa Celimontana (formerly Villa Mattei) is a public park in Rome whose creation dates back to the sixteenth century. It was subject to transformation in the sense landscaped in 1858 by French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant (1754-1825) on the initiative of Laura Maria Josefa of Bauffremont and again in 1870, with interventions in neo-Gothic style, to the last owner Richard von Hoffmann . (Wikipedia)

Villa_CelimontanaEntrance in Via della Navicella 12, 00184 Roma

{google_map}41.884478, 12.495947{/google_map}

Villa Torlonia

Botanical tour with historical notes

Villa Torlonia is a villa surrounded by gardens in Rome, initially belonging to the Torlonia family. It is accessed from Via Nomentana. It ‘was designed by the neoclassical architect Giuseppe Valadier. In the twenties, Giovanni Torlonia Junior granted the official residence of Benito Mussolini, who paid a symbolic annual rent of a lyre. Mussolini and Prince Torlonia built a bunker against the bombings in the Jewish catacombs of the third and fourth century placed under the villa.
    In the aftermath of the war, the villa was abandoned through a period of decline, until, in 1978, was purchased by the City of Rome and turned into a public park.

Villa TorloniaEntrance to the Villa is in Via Nomentana, 70, 00161 Roma
{google_map}Via Nomentana, 70, 00161 Roma, Italy{/google_map}


Villa Borghese

Secret Gardens tour-Deer Park – “Garden boschereccio” (area under Borghese Museum)
Itinerary Lake Garden – Piazza di Siena-Valley of Platani
Itinerary Gallop – Garden Fountain Round
Villa Borghese, built in the early decades of the seventeenth century by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, was enlarged and embellished in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century by Marcantonio and Camillo Borghese. In 1903 the complex was bought by the Italian State and the park with furniture and smaller buildings were sold to the City of Rome, while the Casino Nobile State is open to the public as a museum and the Galleria Borghese. The villa covers 80 hectares and alternates formal gardens to gardens, portions of the country, which still has the appearance of four centuries ago, valuable buildings, fountains, monuments to famous men. It is a historical and vegetation unparalleled.

Routes of Villa Borghese

First itinerary: Secret Gardens, Deer Park,  Graziano Valley.

Starting from the gate on Via Pinciana corner avenue dell’Uccelliera
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Secret gardens

Giardini_segreti_Roma-Villa-borgheseThe secret gardens of Villa Borghese create a system of “precious gardens” with museum value and important cultural, ideal continuation of the historical and artistic journey of the Galleria Borghese in external, for observation and learning a little known chapter of history of the Italian garden.
The gardens are 4 + 1 each with its own historical character from the point of view of the plant and the design differentiated according to the characteristics of each garden (end ‘500 beginning’ 600, the first half of the second half of ‘600’ 600). The designers of the Garden were based on the development and analysis of data obtained from historical research specific to the park of Villa Borghese and research of flower gardens’ 600 in Italy and Europe. The gardens are named: Old Garden place on the east side of the aviary Garden, the Sundial Garden, Garden Conservation sequenced to the west of the palace, the Parterre place on the north side of the building. In all the gardens are a rich collection
citrus (lemons, limes, oranges, limes ect …) and jasmine grown in clay pot on a design era.

Deer Park

Parco_dei_daini_villa-boghese-RomaDeer Park, formerly called “Garden of the prospects” or “Private garden of the prince”, was the private garden of the prince, characterized by the presence of a large ilex Alboreto.
Graziano Valley

The valley of Graziano or Valley of Platani, large area set as a garden naturalistic enhanced by the presence of the majestic and antiquated specimens of Platanus orientalis.

Second itinerary: Lake Garden, Piazza di Siena, Casina Raffaello, hoot Rose Garden boschereccio.

Starting from the gate of Piazza E. Sienkiewicz Via Pinciana
{google_map}41.911340, 12.491629{/google_map}

Lake Garden

Rome-Villa-Borghese-Temple-EsculapeThe “Plan Bello” or “Plan of Licini” the third fence of Villa Borghese with large planted about eight hundred oaks became Lake Garden at the end of 1700. The construction of the garden mark a turning point for the architecture of the villa with vegetable the introduction of the “winding” of the English landscape garden.

Piazza di Siena, Casina Clock, Grove Casina Raphael, House of the Rose

casino_dell_orologio_villa-borghese-RomaThe square is created at the end of 1700, surrounded by avenues of elms and oaks. At the time the first circuit was already enclosed by a hedge of boxwood, cypress eighteen, two pine forests, one existing and the other to replace a plantation of mulberry trees.

Garden boschereccio

The Garden boschereccio, in the seventeenth century first called fence, was accessible to all, the path out of the carriages and on foot to reach the main entrance of the building. The avenues were regularly surrounded by hedges, remind them in the famous “trident” with the Roman facades replaced by those trees. The garden located in front of the building consists of a dense forest of evergreen and deciduous formed by laurels, oaks, elms, cypresses, pines, plane trees and a picturesque grove of fir trees.

Third itinerary: Pincio, Fountain Valley Round, Riding track

Strts at Mickiewicz street corner away from the Spanish Steps – via Mickievicz angolo viale Trinità dei Monti (climb to the viewpoint of the Pincio)
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The Walk of the Public Garden and the Pincio, also called “Garden of the Great Caesar” was designed and started building by the French who ruled at the time Rome, in the year 1813/1814.
On the pinciano area of the hill in the district IV, Campo Marzio, the architect Valadier created a garden that fused together the elements of Italian gardens, loggias, exedras, terraces and glades, groves, the exotic vegetation, the irregular paths, typical of the English garden, all set in the idea of ​​new public garden French with large spaces for recreation of the population, flower beds (“parterre”) of geometric design, with broad viewpoint of wide avenues lined symmetrical converging radiating in open spaces round.
Villa Borghese just went public in 1902 to join her at the Garden of the Pincio .The connection was built in 1908 by a bridge over the road Muro Torto and an avenue with the edge rows of Magnolia grandiflora.

Fountain Valley Round

The area was acquired by the Borghese family in 1820; accommodation green area encountered many difficulties with the construction of a pond then drained in 1850 and replaced by a fountain which still exists. The work continued over the years with large movements of land due to the implementation of the Avenue of Magnolias that turned the valley into an amphitheater by the creation at the center of a large oval tub in 1910. The accommodation commitment to green area very designers who evolved a pattern mix of the garden landscape of English tradition and the rigid geometric pattern of Italian style with avenues of oaks, planted regular pine and mixed woods of laurel and deciduous plants.

Riding track

Galoppatoio_Villa.Borghese-RomaThe area was acquired by the Borghese family in 1832. The free zone plantations was used to trotting horses. After years of decay it was rearranged by the city in 1933. The construction of the park in the year 1966/72 forced the council to rearrange all the green area with trees and shrubs and the planting of hedges to mask the access ramps and services of the same.

For information and reservations

Tel. / Fax +39 065817727
Monday through Friday, from 9:00 to 13:00 hours; Thursday and Friday 14:30 to 17:30.

The tours are free and can be booked by schools, associations and individuals.
Minimum 6 – Maximum 25 participants.

Guided tours in the summer (June-September) are held only in the morning

Sunday is not making visits.

In August Guided tours

For reservations
Tel. +39 06.5817.727 (also fax) Monday to Friday from 9 to 13; Thursday and Friday also from 14.30 to 17.30 on Sundays do not make visits.


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