Orto Botanico

Trastevere & Gianicolo

Formerly the private grounds of Palazzo Corsini, Rome’s 12-hectare botanical gardens are a little-known, slightly neglected gem and a great place to unwind in a tree-shaded expanse covering the steep slopes of the Gianicolo. Plants have been cultivated here since the 13th century and the current gardens were established in 1883, when the grounds of Palazzo Corsini were given to the University of Rome. They now contain up to 8000 species, including some of Europe’s rarest plants.

There are also various architectural delights, including the Scalineta delle Undici Fontane (Staircase of 11 Fountains) designed by Ferdinando Fuga, the architect behind Palazzo Corsini and the loggia at Santa Maria in Maggiore. The garden entrance is at the end of Via Corsini. Note that there is no entrance or exit at the top of the gardens on the Gianicolo.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Trastevere & Gianicolo attractions

1. Galleria Corsini

0.08 MILES

Once home to Queen Christina of Sweden, whose bedroom reputedly witnessed a steady stream of male and female lovers, the 16th-century Palazzo Corsini was…

2. Villa Farnesina

0.11 MILES

Admire the interior of this gorgeous 16th-century villa, fantastically frescoed from top to bottom.

3. Porta Settimiana

0.11 MILES

Resembling a crenellated keep, Porta Settimiana marks the start of Via della Lungara, the 16th-century road that connects Trastevere with the Borgo. It…

4. Triumphs & Laments

0.17 MILES

This vast and fading frieze adorns the River Tiber walls between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini. The creation of South African artist William Kentridge, it…

5. Gianicolo

0.23 MILES

Explore monuments, fountains and gardens on the verdant hill of Gianicolo (or Janiculum).

6. Piazza Trilussa

0.24 MILES

Right where the cute little Ponte Sisto pedestrian bridge crosses the Tiber, this small square is a fine entrance to Trastevere. The star attraction is…

7. Museo di Roma in Trastevere

0.24 MILES

Housed in a 17th-century Carmelite convent, this museum hosts excellent temporary photography exhibitions. Upstairs the permanent collection contains a…

8. Fontana dell’Acqua Paola

0.25 MILES

Featured in the opening scene of Paolo Sorrentino's Oscar-winning La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty; 2013), this monumental white fountain with its…