When city life gets too hectic, escape amid the 184 hectres of the largest landscaped public park in Rome. The Villa Pamphilj offers visitors more than one change of scenery; you can begin your promenade past the palace and gardens and then take a detour through the pine trees to the lake.
Located in the Monteverde district, the park is divided in two by Via Leone XIII, with entrances on Via di S.Pancrazio, Via Aurelia Antica, Via Leone XII, Largo M. Luther King, Via Vitellia and Via della Nocetta.
One of the best-preserved villas, the Villa Pamphilj house was recently restored for government use and receptions. Purchased by Pamfilio Pamphilj in 1630 with one existing building known as the Villa Vecchia, the estate was later developed by Pope Innocent X (born Giovanni Battista Pamphilj) who commissioned the architects Algardi and Grimaldi to design a more expansive villa, which was completed in 1647. The Italian state purchased part of the land in 1957 and, after numerous additional acquisitions, officially opened the park to the public in 1972.
There are plenty of interesting and historical sites to visit such as the Arc of the Four Winds, designed by Andrea Vici. You can see 60,000-m of garden at the Valley of the Fallow and visit the Casino Bel Respiro, which sometimes hosts the Presidency of the Council. The Garden Theatre, designed for outdoor performances, and the Villino Corsini, which is the seat of the Casa dei Teatri are also in the park.
You can also see the Aqua Traiana aqueduct built by Emperor Trajan and originally used to bring water from the area around Lake Bracciano to Trastevere. The aqueduct now supplies the many fountains in the park, the Fontanone on the Gianicolo as well as fountains in Trastevere.The Servizio Visite Guidate, the official body in charge of showing off Rome’s parks, villas and gardens, offers free daily tours. Groups of six to 25 people have a choice of guided tours on three different routes throughout the villa, during which they will be informed in particular of the park's botany.The Vivi Bistrot cafè and restaurant is located in the heart of the park and offers a range of organic cuisine, aperitifs, desserts and icecreams. It also organises parties for children who can enjoy the playground next door. For a stroll in solitude, there are numerous walking paths, as well as bike paths, all over the park.To map out your journey and to locate the points of interest, take a look at the villa’s official website.