via Garibaldi, Salita di Sant'Onofrio, 00165 Roma RM, Italy
|⏰ Opening Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
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What is Janiculum Hill?
Janiculum Hill, known in Italian as 'Gianicolo,' is one of Rome's fabled seven hills, although it's actually just outside of the ancient city boundary. Perched above the district of Trastevere, it offers some of the most breathtaking panoramas of the Eternal City. For those who venture here, it's a serene escape from the bustling city streets, a place where the history, art, and nature of Rome intermingle seamlessly.
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It is not only a scenic spot but also an important cultural site, with a rich tradition of being a center for learning and the arts. This hill is less crowded compared to other touristic heights in Rome, offering a more intimate experience with the city and its history. As you take in the views, you'll be walking in the footsteps of countless historical figures who have been drawn to this place for its strategic importance and inspiring vistas.
History of Janiculum Hill
The history of Janiculum Hill is deeply intertwined with the history of Rome itself. In ancient times, it served as a crucial strategic point due to its elevated position. During the Roman Republic, Janiculum Hill was of significant military importance in defending Rome from foreign invaders. It's not part of the traditional count of Rome's seven hills, mainly because it was located on the other side of the Tiber River, but its impact on Roman history is no less significant.
One of the most notable historic events that took place on Janiculum Hill was the defense led by Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1849, during the battle for the Roman Republic. To commemorate this, a grand statue of Garibaldi on horseback and a monument to his wife, Anita, can be found here. The hill is therefore seen not just as a place of ancient history, but also as a symbol of the Italian struggle for unification and independence.
Why is Janiculum Hill Important?
Janiculum Hill holds a distinct place in Rome's heart not just for its historic battles and strategic location, but also as a repository of culture and a witness to centuries of change. Its importance transcends mere geography; it is a testament to the resilience and evolving identity of Rome. The hill played a decisive role in shaping the city's defenses and has served as inspiration for poets, artists, and revolutionaries throughout the centuries.
Furthermore, Janiculum is a commemorative site for Italian patriots and features many monuments and memorials. It's an embodiment of the Italian spirit of 'Risorgimento', the period of Italian nationalism and unification. The daily cannon firing at noon, a tradition that dates back to the 19th century, is a reminder of the hill's historical significance and serves as a time signal for the city, a nod to the past that continues into the present.
Things to Do & See at Janiculum Hill
Visiting Janiculum Hill is a multi-faceted experience. You can start by enjoying the panoramic vistas which allow for a stunning photography session, especially during sunrise or sunset. Being here gives you a bird's eye view of Rome's famous landmarks like St. Peter's Basilica, the Pantheon, and the Vittorio Emanuele II monument. Take a leisurely stroll along the paved paths, immerse yourself in the greenery, and feel the pulse of Roman history under your feet.
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Don't miss the opportunity to see the Fontana dell'Acqua Paola, a majestic fountain that rivals the more famous Trevi Fountain in beauty but is much less crowded. The Manfredi Lighthouse, gifted by Italians from Argentina, is another arresting sight — its beam is a symbol of the bond between Italian emigrants and their homeland. And of course, the aforementioned monuments to Garibaldi signal the profound respect Italy has for its national heroes.
Each Sunday, the hill attracts a mix of locals and visitors to its bustling Porta Portese flea market, where one can delve into a treasure trove of antiques, hand-made crafts, and delightful trinkets. For the little ones, a historic puppet theatre puts on traditional performances that have charmed audiences for generations. And for those with a penchant for the macabre, the nearby Cimitero Acattolico, or Non-Catholic Cemetery, is a hauntingly beautiful place that serves as the final resting place for many notable non-Catholic foreigners, including the poets Shelley and Keats.