Rome's Historic Rose Garden Opens for Two Weeks in October

| Fri, 10/07/2022 - 06:21
Rome's rose garden, Il Roseto

After a brief end-of-summer hiatus, Il Roseto, Rome's municipal rose garden, is swinging open its gates for two weeks in October. From Saturday, October 8 until Sunday, October 23, rose lovers can amble through the flourishing rows of fragrant bushes from morning to dusk. 

On the slopes of Rome’s Aventine Hill, opposite the Circus Maximus, the one-hectare garden showcases more than 1,100 varieties of roses from all over the world, many of which are in bloom during the autumn. The garden faces the ruins of the Palatine Hill, offering sweeping views over the bell tower of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin — home of the “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 dates from the third century BCE and is said to have been mentioned by the Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus, who, in his major work Annales, spoke of a temple dedicated to the goddess Flora. Flower festivals called “Floralia” are believed to have taken place every spring at the Circus Maximus.

The land was used as a vegetable garden and vineyard until 1645, when it was transformed into the Orto degli Ebrei (Jewish Garden), with an annex to the local Jewish community’s adjacent cemetery. After the cemetery was moved to Verano in 1934, the plot — officially designated a park by the city of Rome — remained uncultivated until 1950. It was then tapped as 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.

As a sign of gratitude to Rome’s Jewish community for allowing the construction of the civic garden on a sacred site, a stone slab was placed at the entrance, and the paths dividing the flowerbeds were designed in the shape of a menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum widely used as a symbol of Judaism.  

Today, the grounds of Il Roseto are visited by thousands of people annually. The garden's “Premio Roma” rose competition, held every May, is the second oldest of its kind in Europe.

If you go

Il Roseto di Roma
Via di Valle Murcia 6
Public transit: Metro Line B to stop Circo Massimo.
Opening dates and times: Oct 8 through Oct 23, 8.30am to 5.30pm daily.
Admission is free. No booking is required.
Guided tours can be arranged by calling +39 06.5746810 or emailing

Note: In addition to these two weeks in October, the garden is typically open between mid-April through mid-June.