5 amazing parks in Rome
1) Parco degli Scipioni
A beautiful park that used to be an ancient burial ground. The most noteworthy tombs are those of Pomponius Hylas, from the Flavian period, and of the famous Scipio family. The latter dates to the 3rd century BC. It was lost and forgotten until the 18th century, hence its good state of preservation. Call ahead to access the tombs.
2) Villa Sciarra
A little-known park in the shadow of Villa Pamphili. What it lacks in size it makes up for in shady trees, ubiquitous benches, and unobstructed views. Its lavish fountains also make it a popular spot for dog walkers and flies in the summer months.
3) Villa Celimontana
The leafy gardens cover most of the dip between the Caelian and Aventine hills. History runs deep on the grounds. In the 1st century it was a base for Roman firefighters. In the 16th it was obtained by the powerful Mattei family, who built the villa, which now houses the Italian Geographic Society.
4) Parco della Caffarella
An idyllic blend of archeology and nature. The Caffarella Park is off the Appian Way, which accounts for the concentration of ancient Roman tombs. They were commonly used to store hay and grains in the Middle Ages. The 10th-century church of Sant’Urbano was built on top of a temple thought to honour Bacchus.
5) Parco Torre del Fiscale
The park gets its name from its medieval tower. Other landmarks include six Roman aqueducts, plus one from the Renaissance, a series of tombs, and architectural ruins from Imperial Rome. The Casale Museum on the grounds is worth a visit, as is its restaurant, which uses ingredients grown in the park.
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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Rome reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Rome's best-kept secrets.
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