Rome’s center is known for having many green spaces and beautiful parks, but there are two particular places where you can admire thousand of different roses, flowers and plants: the Botanical Garden in Gianicolo and the Rose Garden in Aventino.
Let’s start from the latter, the most difficult to visit since it is only open a few weeks per year. Until June 19 you can enter for free this city-owned little park totally devoted to the most romantic of flowers, the rose. The Rose Garden is also worth for the incredible view of the Palatine ruins that you can enjoy from it and many newly-wedded couples choose it as a backdrop for their photos.
The area was actually always dedicated to flowers, since the third century BC. It is currently divided in two parts, the larger one hosts botanical (spontaneous, growing in all climates), ancient and modern (hybrids created from the end of the 19th century) roses, the smaller exhibits the roses that were awarded since 1933 the Rome Prize (the famous writer Agatha Christie was a member of the jury) whose 2011 edition takes place on May 21. As a whole there are 1,200 different species including some which are 40 million year old, one called Peace that was created at the outbreak of WWII and decorated the negotiating tables of the San Francisco Peace Conference after the end of the war, another, from China, whose thorns are red, the green petal rose, the colour changing rose (7 different colours in 5 days) and the stinky one 🙂
Rome’s Botanical Garden is always open (except the month of August) but the best time to visit it is Spring of course and between May 20 and the 22nd there is also a Spring Fair with guided tours, photo exhibits, conferences, concerts, a bonsai showing and special activities for kids. Adding 2€ to the admission fare you can also visit the nearby “Corsini” National Gallery of Ancient Art (to be distinguished from the other, more famous National Gallery of Ancient Art in the Barberini Palace, near Barberini square and the underground stop). The Garden hosts 3000 species of plants, including 300 medical plants, a Japanese garden, a bamboo wood, palms, greenhouses with tropical species and water plants.