The Giardino di Ninfa, dreaming place and house of Botanic samples from all over the world.
Visiting the Giardino di Ninfa is a wonderful experience. This natural monument is situated in Cisterna di Latina, exactly where the ancient medieval city Ninfa was situated. It is a beautiful British garden of 8 hectares, made by Gelasio Caetani, in 1921.
In this magic area, there are many different plants and wonderful fresh water creeks. The garden is crossed by the river Ninfa, were the Mediterranean trout lives, easy to be recognized by its oval spots. There is also an American Walnut Tree, a pine, whose leaves are silver, a red beech and maple trees, with light coloured leaves.
In this natural monument, you can see another particular type of plant, which is the tree of the fog. It is named in this way because there are pink inflorescences on trunk that seem to have the same consistency of cotton candy.
We recommend you to visit some corners of the garden, because there are some rose gardens, lavender avenues, yucca plants and little scarlet flowers. There are other interesting places you should visit, near the Roman and the wooden Bridge, where they are jasmines, wisterias, pomegranate nana, bamboos from China, an Australian ceder, a tulips tree, and a magnolia that seems a star.
You can't miss a break in the oasis, where many animals live protected by the WWF. There are birds, such as the mallards, the herons, the northern lapwings, and the gadwalls, from Africa. In the oasis there are some wet areas, where the climate allows the birds to stop there and to build nests.
The Giardino di Ninfa and the remains
Everything you have to know!
The garden is full of remains of the ancient medieval village of Ninfa, under itself. Among these, the remains of the Church Santa Maria Maggiore deserve a visit. The building was originally made of three naves, one of them covered by a roof, and the other two of them under the vaults. You can still see the semi-circular apses, where there are two frescoes. On one of them, there can still be seen the image of Saint Pietro.
In this natural monument, you can see also the rests of the church of Saint Giovanni. There are some paintings, representing angels, a blind man that comes to see again thanks to a miracle and a funeral. You can still admire the bell tower of the church of San Giovanni.
Near the ancient walls, around the garden, there are the remains of an ancient noble building, built on the rests of a previous castle. Next to the house, there is a 32 metres tower, with two embrasures.
There is also a cave in this wonderful area. It was from 1183, dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo. The cave is an interesting place, because there are some visible paintings on the walls, even if it is impossible to understand what they represent.
The river Ninfa is crossed by two bridges: a Roman one and a wooden one. There is a third one, named Ponte del Macello, situated near the walls. Historians have developed two hypotheses about the name of this passage. According to the first hypothesis, it got the name Macello (that means "disaster"), because once the enemies were hit, they fell from the bridge, making the water red. The second hypothesis tells there was a slaughterhouse.
The garden is situated in the middle of Ninfa remains
The origins of Ninfa.
The village was built during the Roman times, by a people of farmers. In the 8th century, they established a tax for the merchants passing there, and from a small village, it grew up becoming a bigger village, full of houses and churches.
In the 12th century, Ninfa became property of the Frangipane's family. In 1171, Federico Barbarossa, burnt the city to take his revenge on Pope Alessandro III. They never built the village again and the territory became property of the Caetani's family.
During the 15th century, Cardinal Nicolò III Caetani met the architect Cipriani and commissioned him the creation of a garden; but it soon fell into ruins. Just after 1921, Gelasio Caetani starts the restoration of Ninfa and the recovery of the marshy areas. At the same time, he created a garden and started to plant many different botanic species he used to collect during his travels around the world.
In the following years, this natural place became a typical British garden. Many famous people visited the garden, such as Benito Mussolini and Gabriele D'Annunzio. At the end of the 70s, the last member of the Caetani's - Lelia - gave the garden to an association, as she didn't have any heirs.
In 2000, the garden was defined as a natural monument, and the famous New York Times told it is the most beautiful in the world. This place attracts many tourists, and it is open just during some specific periods of the year.
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For this location we recommend Hotel Oxford, the ideal starting point to discover Rome!