Well-secluded from the masses, the Orto Botanico di Roma (Botanical Garden of Rome) is unassumingly on the lower slopes of Gianicolo or Janiculum Hill in the medieval neighbourhood of Trastevere, Rome, Italy.
A peaceful and green sanctuary, the Garden accessible by crossing the River Tiber away from the chaotic tourist centre of Rome.
Established in 1883 on the formerly private grounds of the 17th century Palazzo Corsini, the Orto Botanico di Roma succeeded the Papal Botanical Garden dating back to the Renaissance period. Going back in history even earlier, the area that contains the Palazzo Corsini and the Botanical Garden encompassed the thermal baths of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, who reigned between 193 to 211 AD.
Managed by the Sapienza University of Rome, the Botanical Garden spreads over 12 hectares (30 acres) of sloping land contains over 3000 plant species from all over the world. Gravel pathways gently wind around the well-marked Garden that provides a full sensory journey of smell, touch, taste and varied shades of light and colour.
The Garden is replete with various specimens of exotic Palms, a bamboo forest, a Japanese garden, a medicinal garden, various greenhouses, cascading waterfalls and fountains and exceptional specimens of mature trees, native to the area and from all regions of the world. The enchanting Orto Botanico di Roma offers a relaxing serene refuge from the hustle and bustle of Rome and is on the top of my list to visit whenever I visit Rome.
All text, images and content are copyright Steven Sklifas.