The guide aims to introduce our guests to one of the greenest cities in Europe with the highest percentage of land covered by green areas ... about 68% of the territory of Rome is covered with parks, gardens and pine forests.
A small compendium offering a handy guide to the panorama of green areas closest to our residence
We set out to discover the magnificent villas of Rome surrounded by parks, rich in history and charm: a refreshing walk amidst the green of nature and the white of historic marbles. We start from the Pincio, just above Piazza del Popolo, very close to our establishment: historically this is where fireworks for celebrations and festivities were set off. This is where Villa Borghese starts, 85 acres owned by the Borghese princes until the end of the 1800s. Here art lovers can admire the collections of the Borghese Gallery or stroll among the exotic animals at the Zoo. Villa Borghese is the huge green heart of Rome and although it is only in third place by size, after Villa Doria Pamphili and Villa Ada, it is undoubtedly the most lively and popular park in the capital. The Villa is home to the Case del Cinema, which hosts performances, directors' workshops, meetings ... it is also good for a break at the outdoor tables of the Cinecaffé. Do not miss a visit to the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre, the Elizabethan theater that reproduces the characteristic "large wooden O" of the original.
Our exploration of the villas of Rome continues with Villa Torlonia, about three-and-a-half kilometers from the Spanish Steps. Purchased in 1797 by Giovanni Torlonia, it was later converted into a monumental complex (the restoration work was carried out by the architect Valadier). It is one of the newer noble Roman villas, and has a special charm due to the originality of the English garden and an unexpected number of artistic buildings scattered throughout the park. The villa became famous as Mussolini's residence; inside you can appreciate the lemon house and the Liberty architecture of the Owl House. Near this, the minicity Technotown is fun for kids with fake lava flows, and multimedia installations that explain how the news works and virtual tours of ancient Rome.
To the north of Rome again about three and a half kilometers from the Spanish Steps is the second green lung of Rome, Villa Ada. It is one of the richest villas as regards the environment: cypresses, pines, dwarf palms but also exercise routes, make it one of the most loved and frequented villas for Romans. In the villa there are many areas for children to play, both free and paid, and you can also rent bikes and mountain bikes to explore the area. Villa Ada is immense, far from the classic tourist sights, and once you go in you will not feel like you are in Rome but in the countryside, a villa made up of charming and well-tended corners, the ideal location for those who want to stay in touch with nature. Nearby we also find the catacombs of Priscilla and the catacombs of Trasone.
Returning to the center of Rome less than three kilometers from the Spanish Steps, be sure to take a stroll in the gardens of Villa Celimontana, the Renaissance building in the Parco del Celio. It is an oasis between the Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla, a destination for lovers of jazz because of the international events that are organized there every year. The Villa is home to the Italian Geographical Society, where some of the most important maps of Italy are conserved. It is situated on Monte Celio which since ancient times has been the object of particular interest because of its lush vegetation and abundant spring waters, to the extent of being known as the mountain of oaks. It was Duke Ciriaco Mattei who transformed what was once a vineyard into a real park. The villa now belongs to the City of Rome and is an ideal setting for outdoor dining and in summer offers many artistic and cultural activities.
Moving a bit further from the historical center of Rome, with its 180 hectares, is the largest park in Rome: Villa Pamphili. Its area borders more than one neighborhood of Rome and like many other Roman parks it was born from the estate of a noble Roman family. The state of maintenance of the Villa Doria Pamphili is perfect, and inside you can admire the Casino del Bel Respiro, also called Allegrezze or delle Statue, with its secret garden. The entire Villa is now owned by the City of Rome, with the exception of the Casino del Bel Respiro, acquired by the Italian State and currently the representative office of the Prime Minister. When the weather is good, you can discover this green belt of the city by bike: a fun ride that you can do by yourself or with one of the associations that organize trips and routes.
To finish, apart from the historic villas mentioned here, there are many other green areas, as well as land devoted to agriculture in the outskirts. Within the municipality of Rome are a number of regional parks and nature reserves, including the Appian Way Regional Park, the Marcigliana Nature Reserve, the Decima-Malafede Nature Reserve, the Roman Coast Nature Reserve, the Aniene Valley Nature Reserve and the Protected Marine Area of Tor Paterno.