Rome's rose garden

21 April-19 June. The municipal rose garden located on the eastern side of the Aventine hill reopens on 21 April, on the occasion of Rome’s birthday.

The Roseto Comunale is home to 1,200 different varieties of rose and is open daily from 08.30-19.30, from 21 April to 19 June, free of charge. However the gardens will be closed to the public on Saturday 21 May, for one day, to allow for the 73rd edition of the prestigious Premio Roma, the annual international competition to select the most beautiful rose in the capital.

Flower lovers can enjoy the higher section of the gardens which feature a collection of classic specimens while the lower part of the garden, which contains this year’s competition entries, opens to the public the day after the prize-giving ceremony, on 21 May.

The public rose gardens date back to 1931 when the American countess Mary Gayley Senni succeeded in securing from the city authorities a site on the Oppian hill near the Colosseum, which contained about 300 plants. Two years later the countess’s efforts paid off again when the city established the Premio Roma competition.

The original garden was destroyed during world war two but in 1950 the roses bloomed once more at the garden’s present site, the former home of the Jewish graveyard which transferred to the cemetery at Campo Verano in 1934.

The Roseto Comunale is on Via di Valle Murcia 6, close to the Circo Massimo stop on the metro B line. For information and free guided visits tel. 065746810.