Rome is blessed with a wealth of majestic parks inherited from aristocratic families. With warmer temperatures signalling the start of spring, our concierge team has curated a list of Rome’s best gardens to visit during your next escape. Read on to explore the city’s legacy of pristine green spaces steeped in history.
Best for… Aristocratic luxury
Villa Doria Pamphili
Explore the former aristocratic home of the Pamphili family, tucked away in the neighbourhoodof Monteverde, on the Gianicolo. Designed by Alessandro Algardi and Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi, the magnificent estate was later inherited by the Doria family, hence its name; Villa Doria Pamphili. Today, it is home to the city’s largest landscaped public park replete with Rome’s signature fountains and statues and a gorgeous al fresco theatre garden built between 1644-1655. Nestled in a secret garden within the grounds sits the government’s striking Casino del Bel Respiro, a villa completed in 1648 which connects directly to the Vatican via a one-and-a-half-kilometre tunnel. Although the building is closed to the public, the entire gardens remain open for walkers, joggers and cyclists to enjoy with a pretty outdoor cafe, Vivi Bistrot, serving healthy salads and light brunch options.
Best for… An authentic guided tour
A short stroll up from Rome’s iconic Spanish Steps, Villa Medici is perched on the Pincio Hill between Trinità di Monti and Villa Borghese, where it has housed the city’s French Academy since 1803. Explore a series of sixteen pristine squares, lawns and fountains, decorated with distinctive umbrella pines and historical sculptures, the most notable of these being ‘the children of Niobe’. Renowned French artist, Balthus, went to great lengths to restore the gardens during his role as director of the villa between 1960-1977, and in 2000 the grounds were fully restored to their original splendour. Guided tours of the villa’s superb 16th-century gardens can be booked in English, French and Italian between Monday and Friday; the park is closed Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Best for… A striking secret garden
Hotel de Russie
The ethereal garden at Hotel de Russie is the only private, functioning 19th-century architectural monument designed by architect Giuseppe Valadier and is considered a ‘work of art and item of cultural heritage of architectural and environmental significance’, as noted in the Florence Charter of 1981 on Historic Gardens (Carta dei Giardini Storici). Its history is closely linked with the historic public gardens on the Pincian Hill, also designed by Valadier and located a stone’s throw from the Piazza del Popolo. For this reason, the garden has always been surrounded by an aura of secrets and stories still unrevealed. Having undergone a remarkable restoration project, the secret garden’s striking fountains, nymphaeum , terraces and balustrades provide quiet corners for meditation and relaxation. Nestled inside the garden, enjoy sublime Italian cuisine by Fulvio Periangelini in the elegant dining room, Le Jardin de Russie, replete with classically-inspired accents or on the verdant outdoor terrace at the foot of the Pincio, surrounded by mature pine and flowering citrus.
Best for… Prized artefacts and exotic flora
Renowned for its wonderful jazz festivals held throughout the summer, Villa Celimontana is nestled between Rome’s legendary Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla and was designed by Giacomo del Duca, a student of Michelangelo. The result is a striking 16th-century garden brimming with exotic plants, a neo-gothic temple and an Egyptian obelisk of Ramsete II, believed to house the remains of Emperor Augustus. Several of the villa’s priceless sculptures have become part of the Vatican Museum for preservation . The park is also home to the Palazzetto Mattei, which is currently the headquarter for the Italian Geographic Society.
Best for… English gardens in Art Nouveau neighbourhood Coppedè
Rome’s most recently inherited public garden is nestled in the artistic neighbourhood of Coppedè. Designed by architect and designer Giuseppe Valadier, Villa Torlonia’s elegant English-style gardens are lined with palm trees, fountains and outhouses, creating an exotic retreat in the heart of Rome. The former neoclassical residence of the Prince Giovanni Torlonia, Casina delle Civette, is located within the grounds and was converted into an impressive museum comprising 20 rooms lined with striking stained-glass windows, mosaics and porches adorned with pottery. The Casino Nobile also sits within the grounds, housing a trove of paintings, stuccoes and sculptures renovated by Neoclassical architect and designer Giuseppe Valadier.
Uncover more of Rome’s hidden gems with the help of our dedicated concierge teams. Book with Hotel de Russie at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +39 06 32 888 830.
Book with Hotel de la Ville at email@example.com or call +39 06 32 888 880.
To enjoy the luxury of your own private apartment at Rocco Forte House email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +39 06 3288 8990.