Set like a jewel in the Aventine Hill, with breathtaking views of the Circus Maximus, the Palatine Hill and the Celio, stands the Municipal Rose Garden of Rome, 10,000 square meters of pure delight and poetry.
This garden was the cemetery of the Jewish Community of Rome from 1645 to 1934, when it was merged with Verano in the Israelite sector, after numerous burial remains had been dismantled and reassembled at the new site, but it was equally certain that much of the Jewish community's legacy still remained in the depths of the original site.
After the transfer to Verano, the green area now used as a rose garden was forgotten, until it became a "war garden" during the Second World War.
In 1950 the President of the Jewish Community agreed to establish the new Municipal Rose Garden in this area (the previous one was on Colle Oppio, severely damaged during the war).
Two stems with the Tablets of Moses were then placed at the entrance, and the paths were designed in the shape of Menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum, an ancient symbol of Jewish culture.
The rose garden is divided into two sectors: the largest one houses a collection of 1,200 varieties and species that traces the history of the rose from antiquity to the present day.
The other hosts the roses that participate in the international competition "Rome Prize", which takes place every year, naturally, in May, the traditional month dedicated to the queen of flowers.
The competition took place for the first time in 1933, at the old rose garden of Colle Oppio, in the presence of the American countess Mary Senni, the proud creator of both the rose garden and the competition, and was inspired by the Bagatelle competition, near Paris.
The annual competition among new rose varieties is one of the oldest in the world.
In addition to this, our rose garden boasts a large collection of spontaneous roses, as well as ancient roses, which - as experts well know - are the only ones giving off an intense scent.
Among the most famous roses in the collection it is worth mentioning the Rosa Primula, originally from the Middle East, with leaves that emit a strong scent of incense; Rosa Eglanteria, so dear to Shakespeare, which gives off an intense scent of green apple; the Rosa Sempervirens, also called the Rosa di San Giovanni, because it blooms around June 24th; Rosa Moscata, which takes its name from a Tibetan goat from which the perfume Musk is obtained; the Rosa Pteracantha, originally from China, with the thorns in the shape of a bird's wing, a unique rose with four petals; the ancient Rose Kazanlak, from which the expensive essence is extracted and used as a base for the finest perfumes; the Rosa Arvensis Splendens, which reaches a height of five meters and smells of myrrh, and then the oldest of all, the Belle Portugaise, from the ripe old age of about ninety, a pastel pink visiting card of the splendid setting of the Municipal Rose Garden of Rome.
It must be said with no doubt that the Aventine Hill has a deeply floral "DNA".
In fact, as early as the third century BC, the first temple dedicated to Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, stood right here.
At a short distance from the Circus Maximus, between the end of April and the beginning of May, the Floralia, the celebrations dedicated to Flora, were held.
After more than two millennia, we can continue to dream among the petals, essences and colors of the Aventine.
I'm waiting for you!