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Aventine Hill In Rome Is A Beautiful Escape From The Chaos

The beautiful Aventine Hill in Rome is a spectacular place you should check out because of the unique and stunning surprises to be found around every corner.

aventine hill - rose garden

The Rose Garden

I enjoy sharing the things I love about Rome and Italy with others, but everyone has a different experience with the city and the country. Some people are enjoying their first trip here and want to know more about the important sites to make sure they see everything they should in the time available to them. They want to experience the sites that they have only seen in pictures or movies.

Other people that I’ve spoken to have already seen the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon and are looking for something a little different. Something important, or at least interesting, that might be a little less crowded. I would make my recommendations based on the number of times the person has been to Rome. For example, the sites I listed above are the “First Trip” sites and shouldn’t be missed. Subsequent trips to Rome can include them again if you want to build a deeper connection with the city, but maybe you are looking for something new.

Aventine Hill

One of my favorite areas is Aventine Hill, but I would only recommend this for someone who has been here a couple times already. The Aventine, one of the seven hills of Rome, is a beautiful place for a peaceful walk away from the noise of the city below. It is also a pretty good walk if you are looking to get your heart pumping a little more after finishing your last plate of Carbonara. Aventine hill is now an elegant residential part of Rome and you can enjoy a tranquil walk among a wealth of architectural interest, including palaces, churches, and gardens, for example, the Basilica of Santa Sabina and the Rome Rose Garden.

Two of my favorite places to visit are the Keyhole (Buco della serratura dell’Ordine di Malta) and the Orange Garden (Giardino degli Aranci). From these two beautiful spots on the hill you can enjoy very unique views of the city away from the larger crowds.

aventine hill - Giardino degli Aranci

Roman Orange Garden

Giardino degli Aranci On Aventine Hill

This beautiful orange garden on Via di Santa Sabina seems a little out of place in a bustling city like Rome. It is a well maintained space, which is different from some parks, with a path running from the street to the west end of the park which has a walled terrace with an amazing view of the Tiber and the City in all directions. The birds love this park and if you are paying close enough attention, you might actually see the green parakeets, which seem strangely out of place in Rome. 

What Can You See From The Giardino?

As I mentioned above, you can see most of what Rome has to offer. The view from the terrace is expansive. In addition to the River, you can see Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City (more on that later), the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) and Trastevere.

The Aventine Hill Keyhole

I know that this suggestion really does deserve more of an explanation. When you tell someone that they should climb Aventine Hill so that they can look through a keyhole, they will probably look at you like you have two heads. Trust me, it is definitely worth the trip.

Aventine Hill - Keyhole

Look, Three Countries at One Time!

Not far from the Giardino degli Aranci in the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta is the Villa of the Sovereign Order of Malta. Because this is a sovereign building, it is considered part of Malta, as opposed to being an official part of Italy. This is just like an embassy in another country. The United States Embassy in Rome is considered an American territory and it is guarded by U.S. soldiers.

If you arrive early when others aren’t around, it will take a bit of looking around, but if you arrive a little later and  see a big door that people are lined up in front of, that is probably the keyhole. Get in line and see what all the fuss is about. When you approach the door, you will need to look through it  at the level of the keyhole for best viewing. When you are there, you will see a dark hole with a light on the other side of it. You are looking at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The keyhole perfectly frames the garden, the surrounding city and the dome. The other interesting part is that at one time you are simultaneously looking at three different countries, Rome, Malta and Vatican City. 

How To Get To Aventine Hill

The keyhole can be visited at any time of day or night but expect long lines during daylight hours, particularly in the summer. One of the best times to peep through the keyhole is just after sunrise.

Unfortunately, this is a little bit of a climb as there are no bus routes or stops in the area. From the south you can take the tram or the bus to the Marmorata/Galvani stop and climb Via di Porta Lavernale until you intersect Via di Santa Sabina.

From the north, for example from Circus Maximus, you can climb Clivo dei Publicii until you can take a right on Via di Santa Sabina.

More Beautiful Places In Rome

Aventine Hill is a beautiful area and if you decide to make the climb to the Keyhole and the Garden, you should take the time to see other sites along the way like the municipal rose garden and the church of S. Sabina. Get lost along the way and find more unexpected treasures of Rome! Here are more places of interest in Rome:

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