Monday, 30 June 2014

The Roseto Comunale

The best time to visit the rose garden of Rome is on May, which is renowed as the month of roses, as they bloom in this period.
I had the chance to visit this lovely place on two occasions, first, with a friend on May, and later, on my own on June, to see the part of the garden which was closed on our first visit because of Premio Roma, the international rose contest of the Capital.

The place is located on the top of Aventine Hill, facing the Roman Forum, and the garden is divided into two sections.
This first one is dedicated to the permanent exhibition of the "Botanical Roses":

The Roseto was launched in 1950, after the WWII, but the first attempt at a rose garden in Rome dated 1924, thanks to the private iniziative of Mary Gayley Senni from Pennsylvania, who shared her private collection of roses with the municipality, exhibiting them in a Roseto by the Coliseum.
Unfortunately the garden of Lady Senni didn't last much: because of the war, it's been destroyed by the bombing first and converted into a vegetable garden to face the famine later.

As you see above, the workers of the Roseto are quite glad to take a shot at "mini tours" explaining the garden and the variety of roses to the curious visitors, for free.
Of course the guided tour is better to be reserved, but if you happen around, you can easily join the groups without troubles.

Here's a selection of the roses that captured my attention on this first section of the garden:

Aaah, the beautiful flowers, the lovely smell∼
--And I didn't even mention the wonderful view on the Roman ruins!

I had to come a second time to visit the second section of the garden, dedicated to the "new varieties" conceived for the contest.
You can find both the partecipants to the recent contest, as the winners of past editions.
--And here I found about another curious fact..!

Here is it... The tag above says how originally, on that side of the Aventine Hill, was the ancient Jewish cemetery, nicknamed Ortaccio degli Ebrei.
As I said, in 1950, the municipality resumed the idea of hosting a rose garden in Rome, so they asked for this land.
The Jewish community of Rome agreed, but they asked for the garden to be designed in the shape of a menorah, and to put a plaque with the ten commandments in Jew at the entrance of the garden.
The ancient tombs and burials were moved from the Aventine to the cemetery of Verano, in the section dedicated to the Jewish burials, the Israelitico.

So, if you look at the garden from above, you can see it shaped as the nine-branched candelabrum of Jewish tradition!
Unfortunately because of technical limitations I couldn't take pictures of such things, but you can see them on this post from a fellow Rome blogger.
--The things you get to know!

And here are the pictures concerning this second area of the garden, dedicated to the contest Premio Roma... Unfortunately since it was June and the previous days Rome faced some vicious storms, most of the flowers were withering already-- But I hope that I manage to give you an idea of the preciousness of these specimen... I was in awe for those sporting flowers with different colours!

...Aah, how I wish for this hateful Summer to be over already, and for Spring to be back soon∼!

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