The Gardens of the Quirinale Palace

An tour of the most beautiful spots in the gardens of the Quirinale Palace

By Quirinale Palace

The Quirinal Palace Garden (Giardino del Quirinale) is a valuable example of a historical-monumental garden. Contained within it, there are plants from opposing climatic conditions. The central walkway marks a perfect separation between the two styles of the garden: Italian and Anglo-Saxon.

The east side demonstrates 19th-century botanical methods and innovations of Anglo-Saxon inspiration: nature prevails over artifice.

The west side has instead kept the garden's characteristics and structure in an Italian style: the perfect alignment guides the eye to a deeper point of convergence.

The terrace is an open area, pleasantly exposed to the breeze. It is no coincidence that it was in this spot that it was conceived that the Quirinal Palace (Il Quirinale) would be the summer residence of the papacy. In the surrounding landscape, some cupolas of Roman churches can be spotted; including, in the distance, the unmistakable dome of St. Peter's.

We are in a part of the garden surrounded by tall hedges, hence its name, the Grove (Boschetto). Originally, this area consisted of dense woodland, which made it a pleasant place to walk in summer, in the cool shade of the vegetation.

Next to be seen is the vaulted ceiling of a 17th-century portico that connects the palace with the garden. The internal layout was designed as an introduction to the calm and contact with nature.

The portico was embellished with two fountains, while the walls were decorated with frescoes themed around the landscape.

The paintings depict faux statues on a background of lush vegetation, as if, through the architecture of the portico, it were possible to glimpse into the papal garden. Two large windows open out onto an impassable landscape with a waterfall and some ruins. The vaulted ceiling depicts a faux pergola.

At the time of the Kingdom of Italy, this part of the garden was used predominantly as a place of leisure for the sovereigns. There was a riding track, tennis court, and a waterway for the princes' small boats.

The walkway here, set up on the occasion of HItler's visit in 1938 and then completed during the Republican period, has a collection of Roman sarcophaguses (stone coffins).

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