20 Best Lesser-Known and Famous Gardens in Rome

Curious about what to do in Rome that is off-the-beaten path? I recommend relaxing in one of these lesser-known or famous gardens in Rome!

Nearly 40% of Rome is made up of green space, making it one of the largest among European capitals.

On a recent repeat trip to Rome, I spent a week going from one garden to the next so that I could see firsthand just how spectacular they are!

As a slow traveller who loves to travel like a local, I always want to add gardens and parks to my itinerary. If you do too, you’ll be interested in finding out which are the best gardens in Rome Italy.

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Famous Gardens in Rome

1. Villa Borghese

umbrella pine trees in famous gardens of rome

Let’s start with one of the most famous parks in Rome – Villa Borghese!

This large picturesque park is well known for its stunning gardens, fountains, and artwork. Yep, that’s right – artwork! Amongst the greenery, you’ll find one of the highlights I loved was visiting the Borghese Gallery, which houses an impressive collection of Renaissance and Baroque art.

Villa Borghese covers over 80 hectares of land and is home to several must-see highlights, including the Temple of Asclepius and the Pincio Terrace, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

grass full of white flowers with mother and son having a picnic at rome gardens

Family-friendly activities include a Puppet Theater and Zoological Museum. Visit here on a weekend and families come here for a picnic, to play a game of football or ride bikes.

You can rent bikes, scooters or small golf carts to zip around the park a little faster than walking. Don’t make the same mistake I did, be sure to have a photo ID to rent a bike or scooter.

  • 📍there are multiple entrances to Villa Borghese with the most popular being at Piazza Flaminio, at Porta Pinciana near Via Veneto and from Piazza del Popolo by following the steps up to the Pincio overlook
  • 🕗open daily from dawn to dusk
  • Entrance fee: free (garden only)
  • Nearby attractions: Piazza del Popolo, Tiber River, Villa Medici

2. Palatine Hill

gardens rome surround a man on bench reading paper

Palatine Hill is one of the city’s most iconic attractions, offering stunning panoramic views of Rome. The hill is steeped in history, as it was the site of ancient Rome’s most prestigious residences and the birthplace of the city’s foundation myth.

Explore the ruins of the imperial palaces and enjoy a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles of Rome’s elite.

Among the highlights are the House of Augustus and the House of Livia, where you can see the intricate frescoes and mosaics.

I recommend going to this park when you have combined this with your entrance ticket to the Colosseum and Roman Forum.

3. Appian Way Regional Park

long wall of aquaduct gardens outside rome

The Appian Way Regional Park is a sprawling nature reserve that stretches for over 3,500 acres outside Rome’s city centre.

The park is named after the ancient Appian Way, which was one of the most important and famous Roman roads, and you can still walk along its ancient cobblestones today.

The famous ancient Roman gardens is also home to several historical landmarks, including the Catacombs of San Callisto, which contain the remains of early Christian martyrs, and the Circus of Maxentius, an ancient chariot racing track.

As well as, Parco degli Acquedotti which is the Park of the Aqueducts.

  • 📍Via Appia Antica, 42 (note this lies outside the city centre of Rome)
  • 🕗open daily from 9 am to 6:30 pm
  • Entrance fee: free

4. Orto Botanico di Roma (Botanical Gardens of Rome)

wall of whisteria in famous gardens in rome

The largest garden in Rome is the Botanical Garden of Rome, covering over 12 hectares. It houses over 3000 plant species from all over the world.

The gardens date back to the 16th century.

Among the highlights are the Japanese Garden, which features a tranquil pond and traditional teahouse, and the Palm House, which houses a variety of tropical plants and trees.

Explore the medicinal herb garden, the rock garden, and the greenhouse, which features a stunning collection of cacti and succulents. No matter what season you visit, there is always something interesting to see.

  • 📍Largo Cristina di Svezia, 23
  • 🕗open daily from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Entrance fee: €4
  • Nearby attractions: Trastevere neighbourhood, Janiculum Hill (lookout)

Off-the-Beaten-Path Gardens of Rome

5. Acquario Romano

orange tree in gardens of rome

The gardens at Acquario Romano are located in the Esquilino neighbourhood. Only if you were to be in this neighbourhood would I recommend these gardens to visit in Rome.

One of the garden’s highlights is the beautiful pond, where you will find several species of fish and aquatic plants. The pond is surrounded by a picturesque bridge and a small waterfall.

  • 📍Piazza Manfredo Fanti
  • 🕗open daily from dawn to dusk
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Giardini Nicola Calipari, Parco del Colle Oppio

6. Girardini del Castel Sant’Angelo

bridge with castle in rome gardens

The gardens at Castel Sant’Angelo are an oasis tucked away behind the imposing fortress.

The gardens are full of olive trees, cypresses, and roses. The highlight of these gardens is their stunning view over the Tiber River and the city of Rome, making it an ideal spot to watch the sunset.

  • 📍Lungotevere Castello, 50
  • 🕗open daily from 9 am to 7:30 pm
  • Entrance fee: €14 grants you access to the castle and the gardens
  • Nearby attractions: Vatican City, Pont Sant’Angelo, Tiber River, Piazza Nova

7. Giardini del Quirinale

path with tall trees in gardens of rome

The gardens at Giardini del Quirinale are located on Quirinal Hill and have been known as a favourite retreat for popes and royalty for centuries featuring a wide variety of ornamental plants, fountains, and sculptures.

One of the highlights of the gardens is the impressive Giardino delle Magnolie, a collection of over 40 different species of magnolia trees, so if visiting in the spring, this garden is a must! Thankfully I was, but just missed the peak blooming period.

The garden also features several elegant fountains and sculptures, including the famous Fontana dell’Organo, which plays music when the water flows through it.

  • 📍Piazza del Quirinale
  • 🕗temporarily closed (renovations in 2023)
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Villa Aldobrandini, Trevi Fountain

8. Nicola Calipari Gardens in Piazza Vittorio

fountain with ruins in famous gardens in rome

The Nicola Calipari Gardens in Piazza Vittorio is a charming oasis. Named after a famous Italian intelligence officer who was killed in Iraq in 2005, the gardens are a tribute to his memory and his work for peace.

Stroll through the winding paths, admire the colourful blooms, and relax on the park’s many benches.

This neighbourhood park features a children’s play area, making it a perfect destination for families.

One of the highlights of the park is the stunning panoramic view of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which can be enjoyed from several viewpoints throughout the gardens. This was close to my hotel so I visited this garden quite often.

  • 📍Piazza Vittorio Emanuele
  • 🕗open daily from dawn to dusk
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Acquario Romano, Parco del Colle Oppio

9. Palazzo Barberini

hedges with statues in gardens of rome

The gardens at Palazzo Barberini are located behind the Baroque palace, now an art gallery, and were designed in the classic Italian style, featuring terraced gardens, fountains, and elegant sculptures.

One of the highlights of the gardens is the magnificent fountain at the center of the garden, which features a statue of Triton, the son of Poseidon, the god of the sea.

An array of stunning marble sculptures surrounds the fountain and is a true masterpiece of Baroque art. Another highlight of the gardens is the breathtaking view of the city from the upper terrace, which offers panoramic views of Rome’s rooftops and historic landmarks.

  • 📍Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13
  • 🕗Tuesday to Sunday 10 am – 7 pm
  • Entrance fee: €15
  • Nearby attractions: Giardini del Quirinale

10. Parco del Colle Oppio

paths, trees in famous gardens of rome

Parco del Colle Oppio is a stunning green space famous for its picturesque walking trails that offer breathtaking views of the ancient Roman ruins and the Colosseum.

Explore the park’s many highlights, including the Domus Aurea, an ancient palace built by Emperor Nero, and the Trajan’s Baths, which feature beautiful mosaics and impressive architectural details. You can also find the historic Arch of Titus located here.

  • 📍Viale del Monte Oppio
  • 🕗open daily from 6:30 am – 9 pm
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Colosseum, Palatine Hill

11. Parco Savelli or Giardino degli Aranci (Garden of Oranges)

path with towering trees in famous gardens in rome

The Giardino degli Aranci, or Orange Garden, is a small but beautiful garden in Rome that offers a stunning panoramic view of the city.

Located on Aventine Hill, it’s a popular spot for watching the sunset or enjoying a romantic evening.

The garden is named after the many orange trees that dot its terraces and walkways, and don’t be surprised to see many of them smashed to the ground or peels left from someone who just enjoyed it as they admired the best views of Rome.

The garden’s main attraction is the Passeggiata del Gianicolo, a tree-lined path that winds around the perimeter of the garden and offers stunning views of Rome’s skyline.

  • 📍Piazza Pietro D’Illiria
  • 🕗open daily from 7 am to 9 pm (except March and September it closes at 8 pm and October to February 6 pm)
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Aventine Hill, the famous keyhole with a view of St. Paul’s Cathedral

12. Roseto di Roma (Rose Garden of Rome)

Any garden that is dedicated to just roses you just know is going to be beautiful! The garden features a vast collection of over 1,000 different species of roses, including rare and exotic varieties from all over the world.

This was the only garden I didn’t visit on this list, but how could I not include it? It is only open during rose-blooming months, but is considered the best garden in Rome.

  • 📍Via di Valle Murcia 2
  • 🕗open daily from mid-April to mid-June 8:30 am to 7:30 pm – check here for the most current information
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Aventine Hill, the famous keyhole with a view to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Orange Garden

13. Vatican Gardens

church dome with fountain in famous gardens in rome

The Vatican Gardens are the best-kept secret and are located in Vatican City.

The gardens cover over half of the city-states’ 44 hectares and feature an array of meticulously manicured lawns, ancient fountains, and stunning sculptures. It’s home to many rare and exotic plants from around the world, including a tree gifted by Iseral.

This Rome hidden gem has only been open to the public since 2015 and can only be seen by joining a group tour.

Ride on a small open-top minibus throughout the gardens and learn about the history as it takes you to some of the most scenic spots. Then you can enjoy the Vatican Museums.

  • 📍Citta del Vaticano
  • 🕗Monday to Saturday 8:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Nearby attractions: Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Cathedral, St Peter’s Square

I loved this tour, and think it’s a hidden gem in Rome – Check prices and book your dates

14. Villa Ada

tall umbrella pine trees in gardens of rome

The gardens at Villa Ada are a tranquil oasis located in the northeastern part of the city. The gardens are spread over a vast area of land and feature a wide variety of plants, flowers, and trees.

One of the highlights is a beautiful lake, home to several species of birds and ducks, making it a popular spot for birdwatching and wildlife observation.

This park is off the tourist track, and come here on the weekends and it is filled with local families out and enjoying the fresh air.

  • 📍Via Salaria, 267
  • 🕗open daily from dawn to dusk
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Catacombs of Priscilla, Quartiere Coppede neighbourhood

15. Villa Aldrobrandini

tree canopy with fountain in famous gardens in rome

In the gardens at Villa Aldrobrandini, you will be treated to classic Italian Renaissance landscaping.

The gardens cover a vast area of land surrounding the villa and feature a stunning array of terraced gardens and fountains. The gardens are divided into different sections, each featuring a unique collection of plant species and landscaping styles.

One of the highlights of this garden is the stunning central fountain, which features a statue of Neptune, the god of the sea. The Belvedere is also adorned with a series of beautiful sculptures, which add to the sense of grandeur and elegance.

  • 📍Via Mazzarino, 11
  • 🕗open daily from dawn to dusk
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Altar of the Fatherland

16. Villa Celimontana

path with flowers and ruins in gardens in rome

The gardens at Villa Celimontana are hidden away in the quiet residential neighbourhood of Celio.

The 16th-century gardens include several terraced gardens, fountains, and ancient ruins. Come here and see the park’s several ancient structures, including the remains of a Roman amphitheatre and a medieval tower.

One of the most beautiful spots in the park is the Belvedere Terrace, which offers panoramic views of Rome’s skyline.

  • 📍Viale Nilde Iotti
  • 🕗open daily from 9 am to 7 pm
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Palatine Hill

17. Villa Doria Pamphili

fountain, trees in famous gardens of rome

The largest park in Rome is Villa Doria Pamphili, spanning over 180 hectares.

Not only is this the largest, but it’s one of my favourites.

I loved the stunning collection of fountains, sculptures, and winding paths, making it an ideal spot.

One of the highlights of the gardens is the stunning Casino del Bel Respiro, a beautiful 17th-century villa which features a magnificent balcony with panoramic views of the surrounding gardens and city. It might be a bit off the beaten path, but it’s worth it!

  • 📍Via di S. Pancrazio, Rome
  • 🕗open daily from 7 am to 9 pm (except March and September it closes at 8 pm, and October to February 6 pm)
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Villa Sciarra

18. Villa Medici

brick wall with view of rome from rome gardens

The gardens at Villa Medici in Rome are a stunningly beautiful and historically significant site, located atop Pincian Hill.

The gardens are part of the larger complex of the Villa Medici, which has served as a prestigious academy for artists and scholars since the 16th century.

The gardens themselves are an impressive feat of landscaping, featuring a series of terraces, fountains, and ornamental plants that provide breathtaking views of Rome’s skyline.

One of the highlights of the gardens is the spectacular Bosco dei Mostri, or “Garden of Monsters,” a whimsical collection of sculptures and fountains that depict a variety of mythological creatures.

But really, this is a local’s favourite hang out spot to see the city and the sunset.

  • 📍Trinita’ dei Monti Street
  • 🕗open daily from dawn to dusk
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Piazza del Popolo, Tiber River, Villa Borghese

19. Villa Sciarra

fountain with birds in gardens of rome

Nestled in the charming Trastevere neighbourhood Villa Sciarra is a stunning 19th-century villa set within lush gardens that feature winding paths.

You can admire the enchanting fountains and sculptures that dot the landscape, including the charming statue of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, nestled among the trees.

The highlight of the gardens is the stunning Belvedere, a panoramic terrace that offers breathtaking views of the city and Gianicolo Hill.

  • 📍Viale delle Mura Gianicolensi
  • 🕗open daily from dawn to dusk
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Trastevere neighbourhood, Villa Doria Pamphili

20. Villa Wolkonsky

painter painting a scene in rome gardens

The gardens at Villa Wolkonsky are a peaceful and elegant retreat, located in the heart of Rome’s diplomatic district. The gardens cover a vast area of land surrounding the villa and feature a stunning collection of exotic plants, flowers, and trees.

The gardens are divided into several sections, each with its own unique style and design.

One of the highlights of the gardens is the beautiful English garden, which features an array of colourful blooms, winding pathways, and hidden nooks and crannies.

Or, explore the classical section, which features an elegant symmetrical design and an array of stunning sculptures.

Another highlight of the gardens is the rose garden, featuring a collection of over 300 different rose varieties. Unfortunately, these roses were not in bloom during my visit.

  • 📍Via Ludovico di Savoia
  • 🕗open daily from dawn to dusk
  • Entrance fee: free
  • Nearby attractions: Lateranense Palace, Chiostro Lateranense

Gardens Outside of Rome

bench with pink flowering tree in gardens rome

Several famous gardens near Rome are worth visiting.

  1. Villa d’Este – located in Tivoli, about 30 km east of Rome, is known for its impressive fountains and water features and is designated a UNESCO Heritage site in Italy. As well as Villa Adriana was built by Emperor Hadrian as his retreat and features expansive gardens, pools, and ruins.
  2. Villa Farnese – located in Caprarola, about 70 km north of Rome, this garden features a magnificent palace and terraced gardens with stunning views.
  3. Ninfa Garden – located in Cisterna di Latina, about 70 km southeast of Rome, this garden is famous for its romantic English-style garden built by the Caetani family and is home to ruins of the medieval town of Ninfa. For tour information, click here.

As a Holidaymaker

Rome’s famous gardens add beauty to the city’s rich history. From the grandeur of Villa Borghese to the tranquillity of Parco degli Acquedotti, each garden offers a unique experience that is sure to leave you in awe.

Take a break from your busy sightseeing schedule at one of these beautiful gardens of Rome.