Il Roseto, Rome’s municipal rose garden, is a fabulous place for you to visit when in Rome and lucky enough for roses to still be in bloom. This October, it will open its gates for two weeks. From Saturday, October 8 until Sunday, October 23, rose lovers can stroll through the glorious rows of fragrant bushes in the one-hectare garden where more than 1,100 varieties of roses from all over the world are on full display.
On the slopes of Rome’s Aventine Hill, opposite the Circus Maximus, the garden faces the ruins of the Palatine Hill, offering grand views over the bell tower of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin — home of “La bocca della verità” (“Mouth of Truth”) — along with the square-based dome of the Great Synagogue of Rome, the “Vittoriano” (Vittorio Emanuele II National Monument) and the Monte Mario Observatory.
The site of the garden is ancient, dating from the third century and flower festivals called “Floralia” are believed to have taken place every spring at the Circus Maximus.
The plot — officially designated a park by the city of Rome — remained uncultivated until 1950, when it became the new site for the city’s municipal rose garden, as the previous one on the Oppio Hill had been destroyed during World War II.
Today, the grounds of Il Roseto are among the most delightful sites to visit in Rome. The garden’s “Premio Roma” rose competition, held every May, is the second oldest of its kind in Europe.