Garden Visits – Roseto Comunale, Rose Garden, Rome

hacienda rosebud, yellow spider, roseto di roma, roseto comunale, italy, rome


The Roseto Comunale is a famous public rose garden in Rome.

Free for both Roman citizens and tourists alike to visit, Roseto Comunale is only open for a few weeks during the roses’ main flowering period, which is around mid-April to mid-June.


The opening date is April 21st as this links to Rome’s birthday. The date traditionally celebrated as the birth of Rome, when Romulus founded the city in 735 BC.

It is a remarkably tranquil rose garden, yet is situated on the Aventine Hill only a short distance from the busy thoroughfare surrounding the Circus Maximus.

Having got used to seeing rose gardens planted with herbs and herbaceous perennials it seemed odd to see gardens planted only with roses. A flashback to my childhood and teenage years when rose gardens were just that!


The Roseto Comunale – History and Rose Collection

The Roseto Comunale lies in Valle Murcia which includes the Circus Maximus. In the 3rd century BC the area housed a temple of Flora. Meaning ‘flower’ in Latin, Flora was the Roman goddess of spring, and features on Plews Spring garden eBook. Her festival, Floralia, took place around May Day. Later this area was used for agriculture.

path layout in shape of Menorah, roseto di roma, roseto comunale, italy, rome, wiki commons photo

From c 1645 it became a Jewish cemetery. Which leads to another point of particular interest: the layout, not of the roses but of the paths. The site was presented to the city when the Jewish cemetery relocated in 1934. As a mark of respect and gratitude, the layout of the paths diving the beds in the collection form the shape of the Menorah, the seven branched candlestick of Judaism. This is best appreciated from above, but the gate through which one enters the permanent collection of roses is effectively the point of the centre candle.


The rose garden’s extensive permanent collection is laid out in the different categories of roses. Information boards in Italian and English explain some of the background; for example, how a particular type of rose was developed.

information board, shrub roses, roseto di roma, roseto comunale, italy, rome

Dogs are allowed in the garden, on lead, but there are strict instructions on not lying on the grass. Not that there’s a need to, with plenty of seats and benches to rest on and admire the view down to Circus Maximus or drink in the fragrance of the roses.

hari on bench, roseto communale, rome, rose garden, italy


The Roseto Comunale – some of the Roses

With over 1100 different roses within the municipal gardens it would be a very long blog indeed to photograph all of them! And as it happens, some of the earlier, single blooming roses had in fact finished flowering on our visit. Naturally, we also wanted to spend time admiring the flowers, their form, their scent.

The photos are tagged with the name, type and usually the plant breeders name. However, most have a brief caption below for your convenience.

rosa chacok, roseto comunale, rome, rose garden, italy

rose chacok

rose parfum de nuit, roseto communale, rome, rose garden, italy

rose parfum de nuit, delicious fragrance

rose papillon, roseto communale, rome, rose garden, italy

rose papillon, one of the china roses

rose glamour, roseto communale, rome, rose garden, italy

rose glamour, gorgeous colour and form, although not much scent

rose majestic, roseto communale, rome, rose garden, italy

rose majestic, lovely large blooms, slight scent, floribunda

rose sally holmes, roseto communale, forum in background, rome, rose garden, italy

rose sally holmes, named for the athlete, a climbing rose; Roman forum in the background

rose l'academie d'orleans, roseto communale, rome, rose garden, italy

rose l’academie d’orleans, moderate fragrance and a good cup shape flower

rosa princess alexandra, roseto di roma, rome, rose garden, italy

rosa princess alexandra, strongly scented

rose athena, roseto di roma, roseto comunale, italy, rome

rose athena, named after the roman goddess of wisdom; with a rich damask fragrance

rose parfum tropical, roseto di roma, roseto comunale, italy, rome

rose parfum tropical, another richly fragrant rose

rose melusine, roseto di roma, roseto comunale, italy, rome

rose melusine, such a stunning colour, positively glowing

rose heaven scent, roseto di roma, roseto comunale, italy, rome

rose heaven scent, pretty lilac blue petals and a good fragrance


The Roseto Comunale – Premio Roma

The international Roman Rose competition was established in 1933 and is among the first taking place in the year that are dedicated to roses and the cultivation of this flowering shrub. Originally the event was held in Colle Oppio. It moved to the present location on the Aventine Hill in 1951. 2017 sees the 75th Competition and 107 new varieties of roses competed.

75th Premio Roma, roseto di roma, roseto comunale, italy, rome, international rose competition

Rome’s international competition for new varieties of roses is sponsored by the Environmental Sustainability in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection of Roma Capitale

The competition includes varieties of roses which are not yet for sale, and may not be for the retail market at all, but are developed for various research projects. This is due in part to the position Rome’s horticulturalists, botanists and floriculturists have in the world of roses. Rome’s climate is ideal for their propagation. The usual technique for developing new cultivars is by grafting rather than seed, in particular, bud grafting.

roses, roseto communale, rome, rose garden, italy

The categories considered include Floribunda roses, Hybrid Tea roses, Sarmentose or climbing roses, and garden or shrub roses. I love that they also have three special awards. One for children La Rosa dei Bambini. Scented roses, la Rosa piu profumata– judged by perfumers and Painterly Roses, la Rosa dei Pittori, judged by botanical illustrators.


roses trained on supports, metal trellis, roseto communale, rome, rose garden, italy

If Rome is famous for its roses, it is also famous for its many drinking fountains. Visitors to the rose gardens can top up their water bottles at an ornate fountain, courtesy of a spitting dolphin. Whilst the rose plants are watered daily with a hose, ensuring that the water gets to the roots of the plant rather than spraying the foliage.

watering roses, roseto communale, rome, rose garden, italy

We were certainly glad of our water, it was another hot day. A glorious early summer day in Rome, enjoying the flowers of Rome’s Roseto Comunale.
dolphin fountain, roseto comunale roseto di roma, italy, rome, Hari Waterfield

Some Other Gardening Blogs you may enjoy

Rose Gardens – the Scent of Paradise
Scented Roses, rose bushes, climbers, fragrant flowers
When to Prune Roses
Shakespeare – Midsummer Nights Dream – Garden Design Inspiration
Inspiration for a Courtyard Herb Garden


roseto communale, looking towards fountain, rome, rose garden, italy

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