Route: THE FASCINATION OF THE CLASSICS. GOETHE AND CANOVA
Via di San Pancrazio, Via Aurelia Antica,…
You are along the route: SURPRISING NATURE. THE HISTORICAL GARDENS
Via di San Pancrazio, via Aurelia Antica, via Leone XIII, Largo M. Luther King, via Vitellia
Every day. From October to February 7:00-18:00; March and September 7:00-20:00; from April to August 7:00-21:00. Free entry.
The city’s largest villa, with 184 hectares of parkland, has spectacular views overlooking the dome of St. Peter’s. The natural landscape, majestic pinewoods, pergolas of roses and elaborate flower beds, reveal the splendour of the Baroque, with a little palace, a treasure chest of art created at the hands of Bernini and Algardi, called Casino del Bel Respiro, to mark the purity of the air. Fountains with elaborate water displays, theatrical perspectives and shady caves were the setting for Pamphilo Pamphilj, brother of Pope Innocent X, who settled there in the mid 1600s. In the 1700s there was a farm and a genuine botanical garden. In 1849 it was the scene of the clash between French troops allied with the Pope and those of the Republicans led by Mazzini, and was badly damaged. Since the 1970s it has become a public park, a popular place for recreation and culture.
Because of its botanical variety, different environments and the presence of lakes and fountains, the villa is a natural reserve of great interest, which is much appreciated no only by the local inhabitants but also by the many animals living there. The numerous species of plants here include the camphor, ginkgo, giant sequoia, bald cypress, Italian oak, cork oak and dwarf palm. The animals include gadwalls, common kingfishers, white swans, barn owls, scops owls, dormice, three toed skinks and tree frogs. The most interesting species are undoubtedly the great Capricorn beetle and hermit beetle, which have led to the gardens being made a Site of European Union Importance, as part of the Nature 2000 Network.
Picture by permission from Roma Capitale-Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Further reproduction prohibited
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