Villa Doria Pamphili is a 1600’s Villa, which includes the land of the largest park in Rome. This park is right down the street from my University, and is often where many of us go to run.
It is a beautiful park, absolutely huge, in fact i have only really explored the bit in our area which has an area of 2km squared, maybe a little more. There are fountains, statues, a small church and many paths to explore, also a large pond. This park includes beautiful views of the city, and every weekend families gather there. It is always filled with runners, men of all ages playing a game of soccer and families with children picnicking.
It is a beautiful area and I highly advise if you ever visit Rome, take out some of the busy running around seeing sights and spend an afternoon or morning here. Especially if you are staying in Trastevere, where it is just up the hill. If you are looking to exercise on your trip this is a good place to go.
Now I suppose a little history on the Pamphili, a family still prevelant in Italy. The park was set up high above the city of Rome and was meant as an area of fresh breath in order to escape the polluted city. The villa remained in the hand of the Pamphili till the 1700’s when it passed to the Doria (a family which married into the paphili). The gardens seen today were accumulated over those years, they are meant to reflect certain gardens in antiquity, such as that of Hadrians Villa.
This area later was located right by Garibaldis stand and was fortified by his men, following the unification of Italy the land was claimed as Vatican land in the treaty of the early 1900’s. Part of the actual Villa was used as a Museum. Then in the late 1960’s the Doria-Pamphili family bought the park for the City of Rome.
While the park is open to citizens, the Villa is closed, but opened for special events.