Gianicolense - Monteverde

Gianicolense is located in the XII ° district in Rome, and is commonly called “Monteverde.” This neighbourhood is rich in history. Close to the ancient city, was built the Orti di Cesare, as well as numerous places of pagan culture and some Jewish and Cristian catacombs, among which include the Ponsiano and San Pancrazio, found beneath the ancient San Pancrazio Basilica. In ancient times, it was crossed by the actual Via di Monteverde, which diverged from Via Portuense. Today, its initial stretch is recognized as Via Parini, and Via Vitellia, which in ancient times connected Gianicolo with the Tyrrhenian coast. During the 1600’s, from the fusion of different vinyards, the neighbourhood of Villa Doria Pamphili was created. Today it is one of the largest public parks in Rome, within which is the Casino (house) planned by Alessandro Algardi, which was expropriated and then opened to the public in 1972. The area of Villa Pamphili park, together with Vascello and Porta San Pancrazio, was theatre to the ferocious battle which took place in 1849 in defence of Rome’s Republic. With the regulatory “historical city” plan in 1909, in the area closest to the enclosing Janiculum Hill wall, the first urban expansion of Monteverde Vecchio began (Via Carini and Piazza Rosolino Pilo,) which was characterized by elegant small houses and private gardens. Low income housing construction then followed during the Fascist period. Nicknamed “gratticielli” (skyscrapers) in the valley, they lead from Via di Donna Olimpia (at one time occupied by the Tiradiavoli excavation) up until Ponte Bianco, (the railroad structure built in the 1920’s, ) and the Littorio hospital, today called San Camillo, as well as small buildings on the other elevation of Monteverde Nuova, centered around Piazza San Giovanni di Dio. Only during WWII did the construction of the Colli Portuensi area begin, together with the opening of the same -named street as part of Via Olimpica. The vast clearing under the Ponte Bianco bridge, was the setting in “Il Ferrobedò,” the first chapter of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s famous novel, RAGAZZI DI VITA, in which the bridge is often cited as both a functional and symbolic presence.

To do and see

Villa Pamphili

Monteverde is one of the lushest neighbourhoods in Rome. Here Villa Pamphili reigns, as one of Rome’s largest parks, ideal for jogging or just taking a walk to admire its natural and historical surroundings.

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While Monteverde’s fame is not mainly for its restaurants, there are enticing eateries throughout the area.

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Museo della Repubblica Romana e della Memoria Garibaldina (The Roman Repubblic and Garibaldina Memory Museum) is a small, fascinating museum, located in Porta S. Pancrazio.

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Il Fontanone

The Fontanone dell'Acqua Paola, is commonly called the Fontenone (Great Fountain) of Janicolum Hill. This monumental white marble fountain, characterised by five impressive arches, is located on the Janiculum Hill, and was designed by Giovanni Fontana and built in 1612. Restored by Pope Paolo V, and containing inscriptions honoring his efforts, it was the first major fountain to be built on the right bank of the Tiber River.

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Porta Portese

Porta Portese is Rome’s largest flea market, opened only on Sundays from dawn until 2:00 pm. Packed with merchandise ranging from used goods to antiques from Italy and abroad, it is located in the heart of Rome’s Trastevere area. This large market is vivacious and visited by all kinds of people interested in finding collectibles, or making a deal “affare.” It has been a constant source of inspiration for film directors, writers and singer-songwriters, such as Claudio Baglioni, who wrote a timeless song about Porta Portese in the 1980’s.

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Botanical Gardens

Situated next to Palazzo Riario Corsini, in the heart of Rome between Via Lungara and Gianicolo, the Orto Botanico (Botanical Gardens) of Rome, with its 12 hectares of park and more than 3,000 species of plants is one of Italy’s largest. Created in 1883, it is managed by Rome’s La Sapienza University.

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Gianicolo (Janiculum) is the second highest Roman Hill (after Monte Mario.) While not part of the traditional “Seven Hills of Rome,” because of its location west of the Tiber and thus outside the boudaries of the ancient city, it offers one the most breathtaking views of Rome. Overlooking the right bank of the Tiber river, it reaches a height of 88 meters. Between the IV and V Century, Pope Symmachus had a basilica erected in the area.

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San Pancrazio Basilica

Between the end of the IV century and the beginning of the V century, Pope Symmacho built the basilica in Honor of where the young martyr San Pancras of Rome had been buried. In 594, Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great) handed it over to the Benedictine Order of monks.

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