The Secret Gardens of Roma: Villa Aldobrandini.
The secret gardens of Roma run like threads of green betwixt the baroque buildings and marble and stone of the Eternal City.
Most public gardens were once the private verdant playgrounds of aristocratic villas and palazzos, tucked behind high walls, ne’er seen by the average Roman or pilgrim. Now they are divided up and made open to the public as little respites from busy roads and tramping along all day on cobblestone and pavement sightseeing.
Large parks such as the glorious Villa Borghese are known to the average tourist and local, but there are many, many tiny secret gardens all over the heart of the city that are worth a side trip and a 20 minute perusal.
The small, lesser known gardens are often empty of others, and decorated with statues and exotic plants and trees, with winding little lanes for a stroll. Often there are sumptuous slices of architectural views and scenic vistas to spy the city from off the beaten path angles. They are wonderful spots to snap rare perspectives from one of the most photographed cities on earth.
The Villa Aldobrandini is on a small elevation of land with a high wall and an open brick staircase leading up to the garden … just south-west of the Quirinale Hill. It is not terribly far from the always busy Via Nazionale, and is peppered with palm trees, orange and lemon trees, Baroque busts and statures and fountains, and breathtaking view over Rome, and several incredibly beautiful Baroque churches.
It was only recently reopened, so enjoy the serenity and beauty of it in peace before it is “discovered” by more wanderers.
My husband Rian found the way there after I had dreamt of visiting it for years to no avail. It was the last trip we ever took to Italia, before we lost him this year. I’ll treasure that afternoon, and these images, shot on CineStill film, for the rest of my days.