Route: EGYPT THE EMPIRE THE POPES. THE CITY OF OBELISKS
Via della Navicella www.sovraintendenzaroma.it Every day from…
You are along the route: SURPRISING NATURE. THE HISTORICAL GARDENS
Via della Navicella 12, Piazzale SS. Giovanni e Paolo
Every day from 7:00 to sunset. Free entry.
Secluded on the top of the Celian Hill, the garden of Villa Celimontana offers visitors a delightfully landscaped park, the result of the changes made during the 1800s by a number of mostly foreign owners of the former home of the Mattei family. Of the original late Renaissance design, today remain several fountains, a nymphaeum, and, above all, the Egyptian obelisk brought here in 1589 from Piazza del Campidoglio. Nowadays, the villa is the ideal place for a stroll, study and meditation. The little noble palazzo is home to the Italian Geographic Society, a major specialist library and, outside on the square, the annual Festival of travel literature. However, it should not be forgotten that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the villa was where the faithful could obtain a meal, “refezione”, during their visit to the Seven Churches.
The villa is home to a significant number of trees and shrubs, with unusual types, such as a sequoia, camphor, beautiful Himalayan cedars and numerous laurel-leaved snail trees, of which those in front of Palazzetto Mattei are beautiful. There are also pines, holm oaks, plane trees, magnolias, cypresses, Seville oranges, firs, yews, dwarf palms, fig trees, Judas trees and European nettle trees, in addition to flowering shrubs such as spiraea, oleanders, viburnum and many others. The fauna mainly includes numerous nesting birds, including the kestrel, short-toed treecreeper, Sardinian warbler, wren and the ubiquitous Monk parakeet, which builds enormous nests like condominiums among the branches of the cedars in the villa. There are also hedgehogs and different species of bats, including the European free-tailed bat.
Picture by permission from Roma Capitale-Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Further reproduction prohibited
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