The ruins of the town of Ninfa, 70 km to the south-east of Rome near Sermoneta, at the base of the Lepini mountains, were transformed into one of the best gardens in Italy by three women of the Caetani family. The town had belonged to the Caetani since the 14th century, it was abandoned in 1382 when it was destroyed because Onorato Caetani had become involved in the Great Schism, he had joined those declaring Clement VII antipope. The few survivors in the town fell victim to malaria and it was not until 1922 that the Caetani began to revive the site.
Lelia Caetani the last decendant of the Caetani family and her husband Hubert Howard were responsible for the creation of the garden as we know it today, and for the setting up of the Caetani foundation which now runs the garden.
A magic place, where more than 10,000 shrubs, plants and flowering trees, from all over the world, grow side by side amidst the mediaeval ruins.
The river Ninfa, fed by snow from the nearby mountains, passes through the garden where it forms a lake which teems with trout and attracts birds.
The garden is open for guided tours from April to November as follows:
April. 2,3,17 and 25.
May. 1,7,8 and15.
June. 4,5, and 19.
July. 2 and 3.
August. 6 and 7.
September. 3 and 4.
October. 1 and 2.
You are advised to buy you ticket in advance.
Tickets cost 8. Special reductions for school visits and groups of at least 40 people. For information and tickets contact the Azienda di Promozione Turistica di Latina, Via Duca del Mare 19, Latina tel 0773695404 or
The porters lodge at the Palazzo Caetani, Via delle Botteghe Oscure 32, 00186 Rome.
Groups should contact, the Segretaria Fondazione R. Caetani, tel 0773632231.