Villa Ada Park: a fauna and flora treasure in the centre of Rome
Villa Ada Park rises up the northern area of the city, near Parioli district facing Via Salaria.
This natural area is the second for dimensions in Rome, just to Villa Pamphili Park and it is characterized by lots of interesting archeological and historical areas, being near some very important places, such as Priscilla and Trasone catacombs.
Villa Ada Park has a very hard history with deep roots in the past centuries.
Founded in the XVII century, when it became the site of the Irish College, a big agricultural area, lately requilified and moved into a urban park.
Property of the Pallavicini princes, at the end of the XVIII century, its big area was reorganized as landscape gardens, creating some courses and buildings such as the Belvedere, the Flora Temple and the Cafehaus.
The surface, different in height and rich in terracings, offered very interesting and romantic views. In 1872, the property was bought by the royal Savoia family.
The king Vittorio Emanuele II liked the gardens and the atmosphere of the park so, after some years, decided to buy a larger surface and enlarged the property. At the same time, he ordered some works to improve its functionality, as the built of stables and other useful buildings.
His successor Umberto I, didn’t like living far from the city, so preferred to stay at the Quirinale; the property was so sold and bought by the royal family goods administrator, Tellfner count, who dedicated the great park to his loved wife Ada.
In 1904, Vittorio Emanuele III wanted to buy and make it the royal residence again. It was finally named Villa Savoia, being part of the royal Italian properties until 1946. After the end of the monarchy, the area was litigated and then declared partly Savoia’s property, but the remaining part had to be publicly-owned.
The Savoia’s part was lately divided in portions to various buyers. The public area has been restyled many times, requilified (often planting exotic plants) and well equipped.
At the moment, it hosts the site of the Egyptian Republic Embassy and Consulate.
Flora and fauna in Villa Ada Park
The part that was around the wonderful Savoia house in the past, today is the site of the Egyptian Embassy. Despite of the numerous refurbishments by the city administration, it still shows the intentions of the ancient owners: until 1946, it was the hunting ground of the royal family.
Today you can access it by a big ring path 4 kilometres long, furnished with numerous shortcuts and panels decorated by the typical flora illustrations of each area.
It is almost completely covered by trees and just a little part of it hosts grasses, short plants and flowers. The flora is prevalently anthropic and the prevalent essence is the Maritime Pine, the best tree to represent the city landscape and near areas.
There are also many autochthon essences introduced in the past, such as Bay trees, Holm oaks, Olive trees, Maples, Poplars and many types of oaks.
A little part of the trees comes from the Savoia and Tellfner count period, when they introduced many exotic species, such as palms, and other tropical trees, to decorate the park.
There are also very big trees, set to create some focal points in the area. One of the most famous and protected inhabitant of the park is the rare Metasequoia, a great conifer typical of water areas and swamplands, imported from Tibet more than seventy years ago.
The fauna is very rich too, thanks to the extension of the park and the proximity to the river Tiber, the most important of the area.
There are colonies of squirrels, hedgehogs, moles and wild rabbits, together with the big communities of birds nesting on the park trees. There are some species of parrots, mostly living in the area near the ex Savoia house.
The park inspired stories and novels, getting the stage of many books and movies, as the film Villa Ada, directed by Pier Francesco Pingitore in 2000. It is about some interlaced stories during a spring Sunday in the park. Also the novel Che la festa cominci, by Niccolò Ammaniti, is set in the park.
The wonderful gardens are not only good for relax and walks, but also stage of some events of the city.
One of the most important is Roma incontra il mondo, taking place every year from 1994, near the lake of the park, hosting some ethnic music concerts. The event is organized by ARCI and Comune di Roma to support peace and social integration. The solidarity purpose is against the evils of our age, such as globalization, wars, discrimination and death penalty.
Do you want to stay in Rome?
For this location we recommend Hotel Panama Garden, ideal for discovering Rome thanks to its strategic location.