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Top 5: Parks in Rome

by Monique Barrett

Oct 1, 2014

Gardens of Venus, Villa Borghese © Preisler | Dreamstime

Europe

Villa Borghese

Situated near Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps, Rome’s version of Central Park dates back to the early 17th century, when it was the grounds of the noble Borghese family. Today the park is open to the public, offering a small zoo, plenty of green spaces for sunbathing and several tree-lined paths for running and biking. One of the city’s best museums, Galleria Borghese, is also nestled within the park, filled with Bernini statues and beautiful frescoes.

 

Villa Pamphili

Located west of Trastevere in the city’s Monteverde area near the Vatican, the largest public park in Rome is the perfect spot to escape the crowds and enjoy an afternoon outdoors. The historical park is beloved by Romans, especially on weekends, for exercise, picnics, dog walking and passeggiatas.

 

Villa Ada

This 450-acre park offers a host of recreational activities, including swimming in a large public pool, bicycling, horseback riding and canoeing. For history buffs, the archaeological site of Monte Antenne, an ancient Roman village, sits at the highest point of the park. Outdoor concerts are popular in summer, especially during the Roma Incontra il Mondo (Rome Meets the World) festival, hosted in July.

 

Monte Mario

Perched on the highest hill in Rome, Monte Mario boasts some of the city’s best views. Located north of Vatican City outside of the city center, the peaceful park offers visitors a respite from the crowds and noisy city life and is home to the famous Astronomical Observatory of Rome.

 

Parco Regionale dell’Appia Antica

To combine exercise and history, visit Parco Regionale dell’Appia Antica, a large park located near the Ancient Appian Way a short distance from the city center with several ancient ruins and paths for walking, jogging and biking. The park also organizes guided tours, offering visitors the chance to check out villas, basilicas, tombs and other historical sites.

 

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