Until 1934 the Roseto Comunale (Public Rose Garden) was the seat of the Cemetary of the Jewish Community, which was moved to the Cemetary of Verano when the roads running along the Circus Maximus and the Via di Valle Murcia, which crosses today’s rose garden, were built.
During World War II the garden was used as a huge kitchen garden and it was not until 1950 that the city of Rome requested permission from the Jewish Community to move the Roseto Comunale (which was formerly located on the Colle Oppio) to the site of the former cemetary. Permission was granted, on the condition that at the entrance a memorial of its earlier use was installed. Thsi explains the two stelae with Moses’ Tables of the Law and also why the lanes of the collection area are shaped like the menorah (the Jewish symbol of the candelabrum with its seven branches).
The garden is divided into two parts, the larger one hosting a valuable collection of ancient and modern roses (laid out in such a way that it shows the history of the rose), while the smaller area hosts the “contestants” for the International Prize Contest Roma. The tournament is held annually (in May), but the roses are often planted as far as 2 years in advance in order to let them become acclimatized to the soil and the garden.
The entrance to the Roseto Comunale is at the Via di Valle Murcia, 6. The garden is open to the public from May till October from 8am to 8,30pm. The phone number is: 06 5746810.
From the Bed and Breakfast Chaplin Hostel you take the metro from Rome Termini to Circo Massimo (line B, 3 stops) and then you walk north along Circus Maximus itself. From the B&B Little Italy you take the metro line A from Vittorio Emanuele to Rome Termini (1 stop) and then you follow the previous directions).