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Green Spaces in Rome to Soothe the Soul

With this week’s blog we’re continuing on with the theme of things to see and do in Rome that fall a bit outside the lines of popular tourist sights.  The theme of this post is “Green Spaces in Rome to Soothe the Soul.”

If you are already quite familiar with Rome or if you simply love gardens you will want to read on.

Our list comprises two public parks that can be visited all day long without a reservation or entry fee, and one private garden that requires a pre-arranged appointment.

Would you like to create a custom tour of Rome with a private guide?  Are you interested in areas hard to get to on foot, or outside of Rome, for which you need a car and driver?  Please get in touch!  DriverInRome is here and ready to help with any sort of day trip or private tour you have in mind.

Green Spaces in Rome to Soothe the Soul

Without a doubt Rome is best known for its grandeur and iconic archeological monuments, but it does contain a nice selection of green spaces as well, many of them public with free entry.  

Even if the most-visited tourists sights such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, and Trevi fountain are on your list, you might want to break up your touring with a little green interlude in a public park or special garden!

All these gardens and parks are in the historic centre of Rome, reachable on foot (30 minutes at the most) or by metro from Roma Termini train station.  (If you prefer a chauffeur we are at your service.)

Villa Celimontana

Although there is a villa dating back to the 16th Century at Villa Celimontana, the present-day attraction here is the grounds. The winding walkways, green lawns, and lush trees furnish the visitor with a very pleasant place to stroll or to sit on the grass and read, picnic, or take in some sun.  In summer it is the setting for musical events and shows.

The park is located in the area near the basilica di Santo Stefano Rotondo al Celio (St. Stephen in the Round), in the southern section of the centre of Rome, not too far from Circus Maximus.

Villa Celimontana is a free public park in Rome, open from 7am til sunset (at the time of this blog post).

Brief history and description:

Hours and detailed info:

The Gardens at Palazzo Barberini

The gardens at Palazzo Barberini are a green oasis in the heart of Rome.  Located near Piazza Barberini (also a metro stop) and not far from Trevi fountain, the sumptuous 17th-Century palace is home to the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica (that will be coming up in a future post featuring unique places to view art.)

The gardens, which have been restored to their original design, can be visited free of charge.

For images and a brief description:

Monastic Garden of the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme

The story of the monastic garden, which was restored to glory in 2004, is intricately linked to the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (the Holy Cross in Jerusalem) and its Cistercian convent (a monastic order branching off from the Benedictines) and goes back hundreds of years.  Its unusual elliptical shape is due to the fact that it occupies the amphitheatre of what once was a palatial complex dating back to the 3rd Century CE.

The garden is a place of harmony and peace, as well as beauty and symbolic meaning.

The basilica itself is quite particular, and merits a visit.  If religious relics and lore are your thing, it doesn’t get much better than this.  The church was highlighted in last week’s blog post on “Quirky, Fascinating, and Unusual Churches in Rome You Have to See.”

Visits to the basilica and monastic garden must be pre-arranged.

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