Among the many treasures featured in the Eternal City, there is a true hidden gem, between the slope of the Aventine hill and the Circo Massimo valley. People passing by will just notice a little garden, split up by an avenue adorned by the classic roman pines. Nothing special apparently! The Municipal Rose Garden in Rome is a green area one of a kind in its genre, a true botanic treasure, where hundreds of species of colourful and perfumed roses are gathered and cured thoroughly; it is a true inebriating kaleidoscope of nature.
If you do not want to miss the rose blooming show, save these dates: from the 21st of April to the 16th of June (except on the 18th of May), you will be able to walk past the gates of the Roseto Comunale di Roma and get in its marvellous floral universe.
The rose garden is divided in two parts: the biggest area features a huge collection of roses that covers the evolution of the flower since the ancient times. Roses are here divided into three categories: botanic roses, ancient roses and modern roses, these ones are the result of the breeding with Chinese roses, imported in Europe in the 19th century.
The smallest section is the place where new rose species, coming from all over the world, are implanted. They will participate in the international contest “Premio Roma” dedicated to new types.
The surprises of this magic place do not end with the discovery of the roses’ collection. If you could levitate and look at the garden from above, you would find out that its avenues shape a very characteristic object, the symbol of the previous purpose of the site. You would see unaware people walking within a menorah, the seven arms chandelier symbol of the Jewish religion. This remote corner was actually the Jewish cemetery of Rome from 1645 to 1934.
In 1931 the countess Mary Gailey Senni had the idea of opening a rose garden in Rome and thanks to her important connections, she persuaded the prince Francesco Boncompagni Ludovisi who was the governor of Rome at the time, to dedicate a green area to this purpose, the first destination was Colle Oppio. The rose garden of Rome would have been a direct competitor of the rose garden of Bagatelle situated at the gates of Paris, which the countess was really fascinated by.
The first experiment was actually a fiasco though: the rose garden area and the three hundred roses implanted in the meantime were destroyed during WW2. Rome’s romance with roses had nonetheless bloomed by then: in 1950 there was a deal with the Jewish Community and the rose garden was reopened in its current location, with a shape that keeps the memory alive.
If you want to visit the rose garden of Rome and discover many others treasures hidden between Aventine Hill and Circo Massimo, among history and citric scents, we can arrange a guided tour that will allow you to enjoy the wonders of this area of Rome, little known even by Romans.
The rose garden is open every day from 8.30am to 7.30pm including Sundays and holidays. Admission is free, guided tours are charged.
Rose garden guided tours fares:
Contacts for information and reservations: