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The Rose Garden In Rome, Italy Is Overflowing With Romance

Visit the Rose Garden in Rome for the most romantic spot on Aventine Hill which overlooks Circus Maximus because it will become a favorite of you and yours!

rose garden in Rome - pink roses

Beautiful Pink Roses

The Rose Garden In Rome History

This text is a from a sign posted inside the gate of the garden. I made a couple of grammatical corrections where appropriate:

Between 1645 and 1934, the Rome Jewish Community Cemetery occupied this site where Rome’s Municipal Rose Garden is today. New city ordinances in 1934 called for the transfer of the graveyard to a special sector of the Verano Cemetery and the land was then to be used as a public green. At this time, a new street parallel to Circus Maximus was made (Via del Circo Massimo) as well as the street which divides the Municipal Rose Garden into two sectors (Via di Valle Murcia). Many of the tall cypresses that now can be seen along via del Circo Massimo are the same ones that had been moved in 1934 from the site of what is now the Rose Garden.

rose garden in Rome - Rows or Roses

Roman Rose Garden

In 1950 the City of Rome asked the Jewish Community if the rose garden could be made on this land (the first Municipal Rose Garden of Rome had been made in 1931 on the Colle Oppio Hill overlooking the Colosseum and had been very badly damaged during the war).

The President of Rome’s Jewish Community agreed with the idea, but asked that a stele be erected at the entrance of the Rose Garden as the reminder to the visitors that it had been built on sacred land. Instead of one, two steles with the Tables of Moses were made. One has been placed at the entrance of each of the two sectors of the Rose Garden.

Besides this, the paths have been designed in the shape of the Hebrew candelabra (Menorah). This can be easily seen from the top of the garden. (approximately 10,000 sq. m.) is divided into two sectors. The larger upper part holds an interesting collection of species of roses, old roses and modern hybrids, tracing the history and evolution of the rose from antiquity until our present days.

The smaller lower section is where the International Competition “Premio Roma” for new varieties of roses, is held every year in May. New hybrid roses are submitted from all over the world for this competition. They are sent to the Rose Garden two years before the actual rose trials and during this period they are cared for by the rose garden technicians, and checked often by a Permanent Jury, until the awaited day of the International Competition “Premio Roma”, one of the most prestigious in the World.

I highlighted the new city ordinances in 1934 because of the terrible disruption it must have caused the Jewish community who was forced to relocate a cemetery that had existed there for almost 300 years. Given that this was within the period of Fascist rule in Italy, however before the Racial Laws were passed, I can’t imagine there was much of an opportunity for dissent.

rose garden in Rome - Later In Season

Later In Season Roses

International Rose Garden Competitions In Rome – Premio Roma

Every year, the red, white, pink and fuchsia roses are judged for the Rome Prize for New Varieties (Premio Roma per le Nuove Varietà) at the Rose Garden in Rome. The annual event is dedicated to the cultivation of this flower and is an event of great importance in the botanical field. It precedes other prestigious events like those in Madrid, Paris, Vienna, London, Dublin, Glasgow and many others. It is an explosion of colors in the municipal rose garden, which has a dedicated section for the participating roses in the competition, which was established in 1933.

rose garden in Rome - Altare della Patria

The Garden with Altare della Patria in Distance

The varieties from all over the world arrive at the Rose Garden in Rome two years before the event. During this period, they are treated by the Rose Garden Technicians and viewed, on several occasions, by a special “Permanent Jury” called to evaluate aspects such as re-flowering, resistance to disease, bearing, etc., giving a technical score to each participating variety.

In addition to the technical score, there is the “aesthetic” score given by the International Jury. Initially the competition included two awards: one for the Italian roses and one for the foreign ones, but in 1953 a single prize was decided, adapting the Roman event to the other European competitions.

The first edition took place in 1933 in Colle Oppio, next to the Colosseum, which hosted the following events until 1940. Then, after the interruption due to World War II, it resumed in 1951 on the Aventine Hill. This year, a permanent and international jury awarded the best examples of “unpublished” (or “previously unknown”) roses selected from 88 competing varieties from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, England, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Poland and the USA.

The Rose Garden In Rome Location

The garden is next to Circus Maximus, just behind the Monument to Giuseppe Mazzini. If you want to find it on your favorite mapping app, the addresses are:

  • Via di Valle Murcia, 6

  • Clivo dei Publicii, 3

What Are The Rose Gardens Opening Hours?

Generally the opening of the Roseto takes place during spring flowering from late April to May and autumn flowering in October. Entrance is free, but the times vary. Use this as a guide in future years but for this year:

  • From April 21, 2022 until May 20, 2022 the Rose Garden can be visited every day from 8.30 to 19.30 in the collections area only.

  • From May 22, 2022 to June 12, 2022, the Rose Garden can be visited every day, from 8.30 to 19.30, in both the competition area and the collections area

There is a toilet in the Rose Garden, which was closed to the public due to the health regulations required for Covid-19, but may reopen now that the pandemic restrictions are loosening.

The Rose Garden can be visited by people with disabilities, but my experience is that there is not total wheelchair access, but you can see the majority of the garden. Small dogs are allowed, but DEFINITELY on a leash.

rose garden in Rome - Red Roses

Red Roman Roses

The Rose Garden Hotel Of Rome Reminder

There is a nice hotel in Rome called the Rose Garden Palace, but it is not near the Roman Rose Garden. The actual garden, as I’ve mentioned, is very close to Circus Maximus and this hotel is much closer to the Borghese Gardens. The Borghese Gardens are also very nice to see, but make sure you get a chance to see the real municipal gardens.

More Than The Rose Garden In Rome

I had previously written about two of my favorite places to visit on Aventine Hill, which are the Keyhole (Buco della serratura dell’Ordine di Malta) and the Orange Garden (Giardino degli Aranci), but the Rose Garden In Rome, one of Rome’s most romantic gardens, is also built on the slopes of the Aventine Hill just above Circus Maximus and may be a new favorite of mine. Check out these other beautiful gardens in Rome:

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