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Rome Reports

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Rome's great garden with 1,100 specimens of roses


In the heart of Rome this colorful botanical jewel can be found. It is the 'Rome Rose Garden.' However it is not only a tourist attraction. It also has significant importance for the Jewish community of the city. Since it was their cemetery from 1645 to 1934 .

SALVATORE IANNI
Historian, “Rome Rose Garden”
“The 'Rome Rose Garden' is a meeting point between history and botany. It contains a collection of 1,100 specimens of roses. However, it also contains a lot of history, as does almost every other place in Rome. For 300 years it was the cemetery of the Roman Jewish community, the oldest such community in the whole West.”

In 1934, the mayor of Rome, Francesco Boncompagni, asked the Jewish community to relocate the cemetery to another location. Additionally, during the Second World War, the rose garden near the Vatican had been destroyed. In 1950, the Jewish community agreed to move, but only on one condition.

SALVATORE IANNI
Historian, "Rome Rose Garden"
“The Jews consented. They wanted to give a noble send off to an area that was so sacred to them. They asked for Moses' tablets to be displayed there to mark this ancient sacred place for them. In order not to forget the strong connection between Rome and the Jewish community, small paths were made in the garden in the shape of the Menorah, the seven-armed Hebrew candelabra.”

Each year, the Garden holds a contest to reward the most beautiful and original rose. Although it may seem simple, it really isn't. Growing a new type of rose is a process that can last more than 15 years. 

In this immense garden, visitors can find peculiar roses with the smell of incense, green apple and even “damask rose.” These are used to make the world's most expensive perfumes.

ANTONELLO SANTELLI
Botanist, "Rome Rose Garden"
“Roses produce some of the best perfume. It is like a precious gem, as so many expensive perfumes are made with roses. The essence of the rose has a very high market value. To make just one gram, you need more than a more than two pounds of petals.”

It is a dream place which unites history and botany, in addition to a high dose of romanticism.