The history of the Villa Doria Pamphili Gardens goes back to the first half of the 17th century. It is one of the largest parks in Rome, stretching on a surface of 180 hectares, on the Janiculum Hill, offering superb sweeping views of the capital. Pamphilio Pamphili can be deemed the founder of these gardens, though the existence of the oldest section of the property, called Villa Vecchia (the Old Park), is documented from before the 1630s, when the Pamphili family bought the estate. It was Pope Innocent X, born of the Pamphili family, who, around 1644, initiated the largest project of laying out the gardens, as well as of constructing the splendid buildings which peg out the garden (such as Casino di Bel Respiro, also known as Villa Algardi).

In the second half of the 18th century, when the Pamphili remained with no heirs to claim the estate, the gardens became the property of Prince Giovanni Andrea IV Doria. Under the Doria family, the garden was extended by acquiring the neighboring Villa Corsini grounds, on which occasion the Arch of the Fours Winds was built. The Corsini Palace (or casina, or palazzino) became, thus, an integral part of the park and, given its fine preservation, it is now used as exhibition space (mostly, for temporary exhibitions). In the 20th century, the park gradually became the property of the city of Rome, starting with the first expropriations initiated in 1939. Until 1971, the entire garden became a public domain, and the official inauguration of the park was made in 1972. Since then, the park as been known as Villa Doria Pamphili, bearing the name of the two families under who the property has grown into one of the most spectacular and largest parks in Rome (the only remaining private property of the Doria Pamhili family inside the park refers to the funerary chapel built by Edward Collamarini).

One of the most recent acquisitions of the gardens refers to a bridge meant to link the two parts of the gardens (the old Villa Doria Pamphili and the former Villa Corsini). This pedestrian bridge was built in the year 2000, following a design by Massimo d’Alessandro. It occasions locals and visitors alike to delight in long pleasant walks, but the walks aside, the garden is ideal for bird watching, as well as for more active pastimes. Thus, joggers come here often, but the park is also a favorite cycling site. Its greenery, and its winding alleys and paths are the reason why locals are very fond of the Villa Doria Pamphili Gardens, choosing the venue as a weekend refuge, a green and tranquil oasis far from the daily urban commotion.

Villa Doria Pamphili Gardens (Villa Pamphili)
Via della Nocetta, Rome, Italy