Walking Along Gianicolo (or Janiculum) Hill - A Breathtaking View

"Walking Along Gianicolo (or Janiculum) Hill - A Breathtaking View" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 29th May 2011

Walking Along Gianicolo (or Janiculum) Hill - A Breathtaking View

The Janiculum is not counted as one of the Seven Hills of Rome and was nicknamed the "8th hill". The name of Janiculum Hill (Monte Gianicolo) is derived from the name of the king of Latium, Janus, who, according to legend, founded a city on the hill. Numa Pompilius, the Sabine successor of Romulus, was buried on the Janiculum, and Ancus Marcius, the 4th king of Rome, is said to have built the Pons Sublicius over the Tiber to connect the Janiculum with the city of Rome.

Gianicolo (or Janiculum) is famous for being one of the most charming corners of Rome -- a balcony with breath taking views over the expanse of churches, piazzas, and monuments below, with the meandering Tiber taking centre stage. Towards the east, the hill descends to another famous and ancient Roman quarter: Trastevere.

The hill provided a natural defense against the Etruscans, but it does not appear to have been fortified until after 87 b.C., during a period of civil strife between Marius and Sulla, when a wall was built from Pons Aemilius to the Porta Aurelia (Porta San Pancrazio). Part of it was included within the Aurelian Wall, and it was completely surrounded by Urban VIII when he built his wall in 1642. Its medieval name was Mons Aureus which referred to the yellow sand which covers its surface. It was the scene of Garibaldi's heroic stand in defense of the Roman Republic against French troops. During its history hill was occupied by monasteries, churches and villas, but the increasing of the population on the hill was always limited, even when Paul V built the aqueduct. The modern street leading to Janiculum was open only in 1867.

The name Janiculum comes from the belief that in ancient times it was the place where the god Janus was worshipped. The Janiculum Hill (Monte Gianicolo) is a long ridge on the right bank of the Tiber, running almost due north from a point opposite the Aventine to what is now called Monte Mario, a distance of about 5 kilometres. This was in the Ager Vaticanus (q.v.), and was sometimes called Mons Vaticanus. It is separated from the plateau behind by a long depression, and is itself not entirely continuous, being partially broken on the south, west and north-west of the Vatican by natural and artificial valleys.

The walls of Janiculum (Mura del Gianicolo) [pictured below] were built by Urban VIII in 1641-1643 with the collaboration of the architect Marcantonio de Rossi, to enforce city's defense in course of preparations for the "war of Castro" against Farnese, as the nepotistic politics of Paul III left to Farnese family so much power that it became threatening for the independent politics of the Holy See. In 1649 Innocent X resolved this problem having completely destroyed Castro.
walls of Janiculum (Mura del Gianicolo)
Indeed, the Gianicolo (or Janiculum), the hill that affords the best view of Rome, is west of the Tiber and outside the ancient city, so it's not counted among the ancient seven. Still, it's close to the historic center, just above the Vatican and the Trastevere neighborhood — and the panorama (not to mention the silence) from the top takes your breath away. At noon, the quiet is momentarily broken by the single shot of a cannon, to mark the exact time, a tradition that dates back to the 19th century.

There is the “Passeggiata del Gianicolo Avenue”, created in the 1800s, which is essentially a large road that crosses the entire hill that allows visitors to enjoy the scenery. At the end of V. Masina, follow Passeggiata del Gianicolo avenue to Piazzale Garibaldi to enjoy Its thrilling prospect over Rome. It is considered one of the most beautiful promenades in the city.

The Janiculum is one of the best locations in Rome for a breathtaking view of the innumerable domes and bell towers that pierce the skyline of the multi-hued architectural museum. Gianicolo hill is also home to the famous Lighthouse, which was a gift from the Italian community in Argentina. Once you view Rome from Gianicolo hill, head down to visit the area of Testaccio, the Baths of Diocletian, as well as the Trevi Fountain. Although a cannon is still fired from it every day at noon, Rome's highest hill is now better known for great views, pony rides and Neapolitan puppet shows at weekends. Now the hill is covered by the green and is the public park since 1884.
View from the top of the Gianicolo (Janiculum hill)

Walking Along the Gianicolo (or Janiculum)

The Gianicolo provide lovely walking paths along which you will find many historic sites. A walk along the Janiculum enables us to enjoy a series of wonderful views. Let’s start from piazza San Pietro in Montorio, were the Aventine with its churches, the ruins of the Palatine and, on the left, the Renaissance Palazzo Farnese stand out.

Visible from the San Pietro in Montorio Church, just up the hill, is Mausoleo Ossario Garibaldino (Garibaldi Mausoleum), a starkly fascist monument erected in 1941 to enclose the remains of Goffredo Mameli, the composer of the Italian national anthem. If you want to continue the national theme, a decent hike further up the hill (taking Via Garibaldi past the fountain and then veersite of a patriotically over-blown statue-complex crowned by the revolutionary leader himself.

Let’s walk up along via Garibaldi, in the square near the Fontanone (“big fountain”), Villa Medici comes into sight in the background, in the frame of Villa Borghese. Let’s go on towards piazza G. Garibaldi, from this vantage point there is an amazing vista of all of the city’s major landmarks, its majestic ruins and its magnificent domes. On clear days, you can see all the way to the Alban Hills.

In the foreground stands the Capitol, in the background, on the right, rise white as ghosts the gigantic statues topping the façade of St John in Lateran. Among the palaces the Tiber runs sinuously.
A Breathtaking View from Gianicolo (or Janiculum) Hill
At the very end of the belvedere (82 m high) are two big copies of maps representing a view of Rome from the Janiculum by Antonio Tempesta and Giuseppe Vasi.

Let’s continue our walk: while going down towards the Church of St Onofrio we cross the splendid Villa Lante by the architect Giulio Romano (1518-27), whose loggia-belvedere looks onto the city. In the end, we reach the widening of the Lighthouse by Manfredo Manfredi (1911), from this point of view you can enjoy what is considered the best panorama over the whole of the city of Rome.

Address:
Walking Along Gianicolo (or Janiculum) Hill - A Breathtaking View
Via del Gianicolo, Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi
00165, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Trastevere (Gianicolo) (Roma centro)
Walking Along Gianicolo (or Janiculum) Hill - A Breathtaking View is Shown By "Map G Zone" As "10 and 13"
Gianicolo is:

Getting Gianicolo From Fiumicino (FCO) Airport & Ciampino Airport:
If you’re arriving at Fiumicino (FCO) Airport take the local train to Trastevere and pick up a cab from there - do not take the Leonardo Express direct to Roma Termini (Rome’s principal railway station). If you’re arriving in Ciampino Airport, take the coach from outside Arrivals to Termini and from there either take a taxi or take the train to Trastevere and then take a taxi.
Also See: Via Garibaldi [Roman Latrine (Latrina romana) & Garibaldi Mausoleum (Mausoleo Ossario Garibaldino)]

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