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Relaxing in Rome

Four fantastic and unexpected oasis, in the Italian capital

Relaxing in Rome

Knee-deep in ancient ruins, up-to-the-ears in churches, brimming with museums, packed with art galleries: Rome is best enjoyed when taken in small doses and when armed with a map which includes a few strategically located places in which to relax and recuperate between the major tourist attractions.

If you thought that the gardens of Villa Borghese and Villa Pamphili were the only green spots in the Italian capital, think again - and put the addresses of these four urban oasis in your diary or on your Smartphone!

Lake Eur and the cherry trees from Japan

It's not ancient, it's not historic, and yet it's one of the most romantic places in the whole of Rome. The Parco del Laghetto dell'Eur was created at the start of the 1960's to provide a vital "green lung" in what was a particularly congested and densely populated part of the city. This is where, beneath the artificial lake, Rome's Aquarium will soon be inaugurated. Whilst waiting for the finishing touches to be made, you can always take a dip in the Piscina delle Rose swimming pool.
When the city of Tokyo donated a group of Japanese "sakura" cherry trees to the council of Rome, they were planted in the Parco Laghetto dell'Eur, to line the avenue which is now called the "Passeggiata del Giappone" (the Japanese walkway). The Sakura begin to flower in late March and their blossoming is celebrated in traditional Japanese style.

Picnics and jazz in the gardens of Villa Celimontana

In the heart of ancient Rome, between the Coliseum and the baths of Caracalla, on the top of Celio hill, the gardens of Villa Celimontana are a gorgeous green oasis. In the 16th century the area was carpeted with grapevines. Later it was transformed into a palatial park.

Today, Villa Celimontana is the seat of the Italian Geographical Society, an archeological site containing the ruins of a Neo-gothic temple, and the perfect setting for a picnic!

An idyllic retreat, a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city which sprawls below, the gardens of Villa Celimontana provide a fabulous outdoor venue for a series of summer jazz concerts too. In fact, from July to September, Villa Celimontana hosts Rome's most important jazz festival.

Resting In Peace, in the shadow of the pyramid

An old graveyard may seem a rather strange place to take a break, but Rome's English Cemetery is a truly enchanting place, and anything other than macabre. Although those buried here were not all English, the name, which the locals used in honor of the great British poets the likes of Keats and Shelley who rest in peace here, has stuck. The Non-Catholic Cemetery for Foreigners in Testaccio (its official name) is located in the shadow of the Cestia pyramid along the Aureiane walls. Every corner of the graveyard offers a wonderful display of plants and flowers, romantic statues and pretty, tree-lined paths.
There are plenty of benches if you want to sit and relax in the sun.

The oasis embracing the port built by Trajan

An out of town escape? Just a few kilometers from Italy's magnificent capital city, Fiumicino's Oasi di Porto extends along the right bank of the Tiber river to embrace the hexagonal basin where Roman Emperor Trajan built his port. Guided visits of the oasis take place in horse drawn carriages and include a stop at the hide from where to observe the flocks of migratory and resident birds on the oasis' lake. The visit concludes with refreshments at the "Cicognera", surrounded by acre upon acre of unspoiled nature.


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