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What to do and where to eat in Rome: Giardino degli Aranci

Giardino degli Aranci: The orange garden of Rome

A little bit of history

The orange garden of Rome takes the name from the bitter orange trees growing there. It extends over the area of an ancient fortress built near the Basilica of Santa Sabina. The Church, owned by the Savelli family between 1285 and 1287,  was built over an old castle constructed by the Crescenti in the tenth century. The Savelli castle and other remains of the castle can be still seen along the walls.

 The Dominican Order of Santa Sabina became the owner of the castle. Later transformed it into a monastery, and the small park into a vegetable garden. According to legend, Saint Dominic gave the garden its first orange tree, after transporting a sapling from Spain. Legend also tells that Saint Catherine of Siena picked the oranges from this tree and made candied fruit, which she gave to Pope Urban VI.

Today

The garden has a symmetrical setting, with a central avenue aligned with the viewpoint. Recently named in honor of the actor Nino Manfredi. The central square has the name of another Roman actor, Fiorenzo Fiorentini, who for many years led the ongoing summer Theatre season in the park.
The fountain at the entrance in Piazza Pietro D’Illiria is made up of two separate pieces: a Roman thermal bath and a monumental marble mask. Both originally carved to adorn a fountain built in 1593 by Giacomo della Porta for a cattle market (Campo Vaccino) in the centre of Rome. The mask has a long history. It has been dismantling in 1816 and 1827 used to decorate a fountain erected on the right bank of the Tiber. This fountain was demolished in 1890. Inside the municipal warehouses , the Roman administration recovered the sculptures,until moved them to its present location.

Special Info

On the right of the Giardino there’s the site of the Knights of Malta. The location of the building is front of San Pietro. From the keyhole of the entrance door of the palace you can see the Basilica di San Pietro like if it is just inside the garden. You should definitely try it. It isn’t something everybody knows and it’s a very funny and beautiful experience.

When to go

The perfect period to come and visit the Giardino degli aranci is spring. The trees inside the garden are full of flowers . In addition, in spring this area is really really beautiful and has a very romantic atmosphere. Everything is green, and the sun starts to go down very late. In conclusion, so you can enjoy every single moment here in this amazing park, including a stunning sunset.
This is the second place where you can enjoy the best view of Rome. So you can come here during the day to visit the aventino Hill. Also in the evening to have a very special moment with a different but amazing view.

What and where to eat on the Aventino hill

Up on the Aventino hill, location of  the Giardino degli Aranci, is a residential area. Hard to find restaurant here. So I will give you some advice for good places close to the Circo Massimo (just at the bottom of the Garden).

  • Bar Bistrot Gusto Massimo (Via del Circo Massimo 5): Perfect for a panino or a sandwich or just a coffee .But you can even have lunch sitting at a table and enjoying the view of Rome.
  • 0,75-Zerosettantacinque (Via dei Cerchi 65): if you’re looking for a place to have dinner or lunch, but you’re sick of pasta and pizza (strange but could happen). Here you will taste the best hamburgers of this area. The staff is very friendly and the prices are not too high.
  • Alvaro al Circo Massimo (Via dei Cerchi 53): traditional Roman dishes, try Amatriciana and Lasagne, definitely worth .
  • Farmer’s market: On Saturday and Sundays, at the old fish market of Rome in San Teodoro, is possible to visit the organic farmer’s market, where you can shop local products guaranteed by Coldiretti.

How to reach it

The buses that arrive closest to the Garden are:

  • on Via della Greca 81, 160, 628
  • on Lungotevere Aventino 23, 30, 44, 280, 130,170, 716, 781

Contact us

For an organic gourmet experience , book our Farmer’s market food tour. Two delicious hours tasting cheeses, hams, honey and learning how to make grocery shopping.

Any enquiry about this article? Write to Martina at love@www.gourmetaly.com.
Martina is a local foodie and insider, she has a bachelor in Fine Art for Tour Operators and Cultural Management. Meet Martina and join one of our events.