Orange Garden (Giardino degli Aranci)
As the legend goes, Saint Dominic planted a single bitter orange tree in the courtyard of the nearby Basilica di Santa Sabina in 1200 AD—the first orange tree in the whole of Italy. At the entrance of the Parco Savello (as the gardens are also known) is a fountain by Giacomo Della Porta, whose previous home was the Roman Forum Wander the 2-acre (7,800- square-meter) green space, taking in the sweet aroma and the sweeping city views.
Travelers have many options to discover the Garden of Oranges. Of special note amongst the half-day and full day options is a bicycles tour, which may be enjoyed during the day or in the evening. Choose a trek bike or electric bike and pedal to ancient landmarks like the Pantheon and the Colosseum, through streets to lesser known churches, finishing up with anxa0 aperitif at a local spot.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Suitable for travelers of all ages.
- Admission is free.
- Wear comfortable shoes for walking and exploring the park.xa0
- Remember to bring a light sweater or jacket since the evenings can feel fresh.
- Tours may include round trip hotel transfers. Check specific tours for details.
How to Get There
Garden of Oranges is on Via di Santa Sabina (next to Basilica of Santa Sabina), high above Lungotevere Aventino on the top of the Aventine Hill. Take a taxi, drive or take the Metro to Circo Maximo or Testaccio. Take the stairs up, which can be found on Lungotevere, not far from the Mouth of Truth, a marble mask against the left wall of the portico of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
When to Get There
Garden of Oranges is open from dawn to dusk, and is a lovely and refreshing break from the city at any time of the day. The most romantic times are sunrise and sunset. In general, avoid Rome’s dense tourist throngs by traveling during the pleasant shoulder seasons of spring and fall. Even better for avoiding crowds is the winter, though temperatures can dip to freezing.
The Aventine Keyhole Upon leaving the garden, go to the long white wall near Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta and look for a green door. Built by the Knights of Malta the door was the gateway to their priory. On the door find the keyhole and take a peek through it, to see a most beautiful and charming scene:xa0 the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica framed by the lush green trees of the garden.**
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- Aventine Hill (Aventino)
- Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin (Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin)
- Piazza della Bocca della Verità
- Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo)
- Forum Boarium (Foro Boario)
- House of Augustus (Casa di Augusto)
- Domus Augustana
- Palatine Museum (Museo del Palatino)
- House of Livia (Casa di Livia)
- Tiber Island (Isola Tiberina)
- St. Nicholas Basilica in Carcere (Basilica San Nicola)
- Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino)
- Theater of Marcellus (Teatro di Marcello)
- Great Synagogue of Rome (Tempio Maggiore di Roma)