Parks and gardens around Rome

Summer has finally arrived. Maybe you're looking for an outdoor space where you can breathe in some fresh air, go for a walk, let your kids play or just relax between one museum and the next. The city of Rome offers several areas immersed in greenery which are at their best in the warmer months. But you can also find a host of parks and gardens in the area surrounding the capital. Here is a guide to the most beautiful places out of town:

The Garden of Ninfa

An enchanting place to visit, unfortunately only open at certain times of the year, is the Garden of Ninfa which is located to the south of Rome, about a 1 hour drive away, towards Latina. 
It is a stunning example of an English-style garden, with countless varieties of very rare and valuable plants and flowers (about 1300!). From the Japanese maple to camellias, encountering climbing roses, banana trees and avocado trees on the way! 

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This garden was built in the early twentieth century on the ruins of a medieval town, the vestiges of which are still visible, and is crossed by the river of the same name that creates decidedly instagrammable shots! The New York Times called it the most beautiful garden in the world! 

Admission fee payable. Visiting is only open to groups and on certain days of the year, generally from April to November and only some weekends (to find out the opening dates for the current year, you can consult the official website or Instagram account). The park covers around 8 hectares.


We have already talked about Bomarzo's "monstrous" park. Loved by children, it is a beautiful park with statues and funny stone constructions, depicting monsters or mythological creatures, scattered all around. The whole forest seems to be enchanted! 

You can walk along feeling like you're being observed by the God Neptune, by the winged Pegasus or by half-woman, half-snake figures. And there's more: you'll come across elephants, giant tortoises, Cerberus the multi-headed dog and even a dragon!

 Admission fee payable. 

Where is Bomarzo? It is located to the north of Rome, not far from Viterbo, about 1 hour and 20 minutes from the capital.

Appia Antica Archaeological Park

If you like the idea of walking or cycling surrounded by greenery, but admiring ancient ruins at the same time... take a trip to the Appia Antica Archaeological Park, a very large area that boasts many things to see.

A particularly eye-catching area is that of the Aqueducts: here stood no fewer than 6 of the 11 aqueducts that supplied ancient Rome. It is here that a famous scene from Paolo Sorrentino's film "The Great Beauty" was shot. You can visit it for a walk surrounded by greenery, for a picnic or to let your dogs have a run.

How to get to the Parco degli Acquedotti? It is located in the outskirts, accessible via underground in about 20/30 minutes from many areas of Rome. 

Castelli Romani

The Castelli Romani (Roman Castles), which are not castles in the ordinary sense of the term, but a group of towns on the Alban Hills, near Rome, are also loved by the Romans, who choose them for their Sunday day trips outside the city. Among the various locations, there are some possibilities for those who love gardens and the like.

 Villa Torlonia in Frascati

The gardens that once adorned the beautiful Villa built starting from the end of the sixteenth century (and destroyed by bombing in the Second World War) are now a little shabby, but they give us the idea of what this place must once have been like: a luxurious residence flanked by an Italian-style garden with fountains, statues and tree-lined paths. 

Today, it is a municipal park, where it is pleasant to walk, jog or spend a few hours admiring the panorama (the view of Rome is beautiful). 

Villa Aldobrandini in Frascati

Again in Frascati we find another Villa - impossible to miss it! - built in the seventeenth century for an important Cardinal. The villa is now private, but the park in front is open on weekdays with free admission.

Itineraries and walks between the two lakes

The Castelli Romani are spread around two pretty lakes of volcanic origin, Lake Albano and Lake Nemi, around which there are several itineraries and paths for those who love walking, some of which are easy rambles. Many are recommended by the CAI (Italian Alpine Club). 

 Where are the Castelli Romani located? To the south of Rome, not far from Ciampino Airport, about 40/50 minutes away.

Monterano Nature Reserve 

North of Rome, a few miles from Lake Bracciano, there is a beautiful nature reserve where you can walk, or go on more demanding hikes if you want, to find the ancient Etruscan, Roman and medieval ruins of the ancient city of Monterano. The mixture of nature and ruins creates an atmosphere suspended in time!

If you love posting photos of natural landscapes, animals and plants on your Instagram, you'll find a host of sights to capture here. Films have also been shot here.

Where is the Monterano nature reserve? About 1 hour from Rome, in the direction of Lake Bracciano.

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