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Orto Botanico

Attractions, Parks and gardens
Orto Botanico
William Kimber

You may find this lush, green haven to be one of Rome’s most under-appreciated gems.

Providing nearly 30 acres of greenery hiding in central Rome, the city’s Botanical Gardens were established in 1833 when the Italian state acquired the gardens of the Villa Corsini. However, this verdant area at the foot of the Gianicolo has had a much longer botanical past. It was first planted in the 13th century, by order of Pope Nicholas III, when it was devoted to simples (medicinal plants) and citrus groves. Its fortunes rose and fell under successive popes, but thanks to the aqueduct of Trajan, restored in the early 17th century, it would become one of the leading botanical gardens in Europe under Pope Alexander VII.

Today the Orto Botanico is run by the University of Rome’s Environmental Biology department as a living museum, and offers a delicious haven from the rigours of a hot, dusty day, with its Baroque stairs flanked by cascading waterfalls, formal tableaux around fountains and statues, its bamboo grove, and varieties of exotic plants and flowers. Check out the cactus garden, the orchids and the touching and smelling collection for the vision-impaired. You may find it to be one of Rome’s most under-appreciated gems.

By: Time Out editors


Venue name: Orto Botanico
Address: Largo Cristina di Svezia, 24
00165 Roma RM
Opening hours: Open Apr-Oct 9am-6.30pm Mon-Sat. Nov-Mar 9am-5.30pm Mon-Sat. Closed public holidays.
Transport: Tram 8
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