Did you know that trees are our best friends? They produce the oxygen that we need to breathe, they provide us with shade on sunny days, they beautify the landscape with their foliage, using their trunks and roots to adapt to their surroundings and revealing the story of the past with their appearance. Trees communicate with their neighbors in mysterious ways, showing affinity or dislike towards the plants that grow around them… just like humans do!
Education, Teaching and Training Services has decided to share the story of our trees with you through an ID card that you can download and read on this webpage.
What’s more, on special occasions throughout the year, we’ll be inviting visitors to take part in the educational activity “Il PArCo degli alberi”, where we’ll get to know the green world of the Palatine by observing colors, shapes and smells, listening to fairy tales and legends and representing them with gesture and movement. This activity will be held in person and in full respect of anti-Covid safety measures. Il PArCo degli Alberi will be free of charge and open to kids aged 4 to 9.
- CEDRUS LIBANI: If you would like to admire two splendid Cedrus libani (cedar of Lebanon) specimens, you will have to climb all the Clivus Palatinus up to the Museum: there you will find them towering over the eastern side of the building; just think that they were planted in the late 1800’s! In the green area that separates the Farnese Gardens from the Barberini Vineyard, there are two other cedars that generously offer their shade to tourists on hot summer days. This pair belongs to the species Cedrus deodara (Himalayan cedar) and they are “just a bit younger” than our cedars of Lebanon, having been planted around 1910.
- PINUS PINEA: The umbrella pine is a very familiar tree for anyone who lives in Rome, and it’s not so strange to see them in the PArCo either: the eastern slopes of the Farnese Gardens are skirted by umbrella pines, all of which were planted in the early 1900’s. Up the Clivus Palatinus, after taking the Via Sacra and past the Arch of Titus, there are some even older umbrella pines, some planted as early as the late 1800’s!
- CUPRESSUS SEMPERVIRENS: The Mediterranean cypress is one of the most common species within the natural landscape of the PArCo’s archaeological area. A cluster of them can be found just south of the San Bonaventura area and others grow on the Farnese Gardens terrace where it overlooks the Roman Forum: both of these groups were planted in the late 1800’s. Crossing the eastern slopes of the Palatine Hill, a row of cypresses planted in the early 1900’s lines the wide avenue of San Gregorio.
- QUERCUS ILEX: Belonging to the large family of the oaks, the evergreen oak is no doubt one of the most ubiquitous species in the PArCo. A particularly lush grove can be found at the center of the Farnese Gardens terrace, generously offering their shade to tourists. This group of trees has stood here since the late 1800’s.
- OAK: PArCo grounds are home to numerous members of this large family of trees which, with their vigorous trunks and powerful roots, support imposing canopies of knotty, entwining branches, offering a shady respite to visitors traversing the archaeological area. Various specimens of considerable dimensions can be observed along the eastern slopes of the Palatine Hill, in the shade of the Claudian Aqueduct’s arcades, up to the Barberini Vineyard
- OLIVE: The PArCo is filled with a great number of olive groves: an entire row of splendid specimens lines the Clivus Palatinus, accompanying visitors up to the entrance to the remains of the monumental Domus Flavia. Visitors who’d like to take a close-up view of a particularly venerable Olea europea (European olive) specimen can find a tree dating to the early 1900’s at the eastern edge of the Palatine’s slopes, near the southern face of the Church of San Bonaventura.
- LAUREL: Thick hedges of verdant laurel appear here and there among the PArCo’s evergreen vegetation. Their glossy green leaves and intense, characteristic scent come as a surprise to tourists, who can find them in the archaeological area in all seasons. A dense laurel barrier stands at the entrance to the path that leads to the Barnerini Vineyard clearing, but smaller shrubs also grow along the road that goes from the Clivus Palatinus up towards the Farnese Gardens, preparing visitors for the spectacle of the Fountain of the Papyri with its misty jets of water every hour.
- FIG: The most famous and most evocative fig tree in the PArCo dominates the center of the Piazza del Foro Romano, together with the olive tree and grape. In a certain regard, these are the three “sacred” trees to the city of Rome, all intimately linked to its foundation myth or to ancient Roman dietary practices. Other fig trees, growing so close together that they nearly form a grove, can be found on the southern side of the Barberini Vineyard Since the fig tree is not an evergreen, visitors wishing to best appreciate its colors and fruit will have to wait for the spring and summer months.