Rome has some of the most beautiful gardens to stroll around. Whether you’re looking for ancient aqueducts, running trails, Colosseum views, or picnic spots, there’s a garden in Rome that will be perfect for you.
Something I didn’t realise before moving to Rome was the sheer amount of greenery there was within the city! Rome’s parks and gardens don’t disappoint – there’s so much space, sunshine, and history in this city. As a true nature lover, I’ve hunted down some of the best gardens in Rome. These are my favourite parks to visit, whether I need an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city or I just want to sit and enjoy the sunshine!
Villa Doria Pamphili
This is Rome’s biggest landscaped park, and it’s my favourite! The park feels really open, with tall trees, big fields, and amazing wide trails. There’s plenty of space to roam around, and though you feel like you’ve escaped the city, the trails are manicured enough that you don’t have to worry about wearing sneakers or proper athletic clothing. Overall, it’s just an amazing park filled with greenery. This is such a stunning park to stroll around, and I highly recommend visiting! I like to enter from Trastevere, passing the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola. There’s an amazing view of the Rome from here!
Parco del Celio
This is my favourite park in the city. Located right next to the Colosseum, this park has some of the best views! It’s a VERY small park, but worth a quick wander around. The view of the Colosseum is one of my favourite hidden gems in the city, and it’s nice to have some greenery in an area that’s otherwise quite beige. There’s a small snack stand where you can get a quick drink or ice cream bar, and plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the view from!
The Villa Borghese is home to my favourite museum in Rome, the Borghese Gallery. This park is the most accessible from the city, as it sits just above the Piazza di Popolo. Visit this garden for a quick stroll and don’t miss the amazing view over the city. There are cafes and bicycles for hire, so you could easily spend an afternoon exploring the park. In terms of bicycles, there are public Jump bikes that are available all over the city via the Uber app, and there are also private companies that rent bikes. From the private companies, you can rent quadricycles, which are essentially like cars! They have four seats (and space for kids) and everyone pedals (but it’s also electric-assisted, which is great for hills). There’s also a small lake where you can rent rowboats, which is a really fun experience. When you’re in Rome, you’ll definitely hit the Piazza di Popolo, so head up the hill and don’t miss this garden!
Further from the centre of Rome, Appio Claudio is an incredible park, right off of the Appian Way, one of the oldest roads in the world. There’s plenty of open space in this park, but the best part about visiting here is seeing the ancient aqueducts! Aqueducts still bring water to Rome, and seeing the huge structures from thousands of years ago towering over you is amazing. From this park, you can also walk to the Appian Way, one of Rome’s best hidden gems. To get to this park, take the subway to Subaugusta. From there, it’s a quick 20 minute walk to the park. I’d stop at a small shop and buy some food to have a picnic!
Villa Ada is the place to go if you need an escape from the city. Wide trails and loads of trees make you feel like you’ve entered a nature park. This park is popular with both families and fitness enthusiasts, as there’s outdoor exercise equipment and kilometres of running trails. There are some abandoned structures that are stunning and popular for photoshoots, and the Egyptian embassy is also located inside Villa Ada!
Orto Botanico di Roma / Rome’s Botanic Gardens
While this isn’t a public garden, I had to include it in this list, as it’s one of my favourite places to stroll through. Owned by Sapienza University, the botanic gardens house thousands of plant species from all over the world. The park itself is amazing, with bamboo forests, Japanese gardens, and rose gardens, but there are also greenhouses that are home to tropical species. My favourite places in this garden are the medicinal garden, where you can see a variety of plants that can be used for medicinal purposes (as well as toxic plants) and the carnivorous greenhouse, which houses some pretty incredible plants. This garden is located in Trastevere, so after visiting the garden, grab a gelato, meal, or drink! Trastevere is known for the amazing restaurants and it’s one of my favourite parts of the city. If you need more outdoor space, Villa Pamphili is located just a kilometer or so away.
Other Gardens in Rome
Living in Rome revealed the sheer mass of green spaces that Rome has to offer. Most of these are missed as people flock to the tourist sites, but these parks are everywhere (sometimes right next to a big tourist site!). I highly recommend taking out a map and looking for any green space (especially on top of hills like the Aventine Hill!) – there are often great views from these smaller gardens, and they’re the perfect place to enjoy a gelato or slice of pizza.
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