On the Caelian Hill, an ancient garden with statues and fountains
Villa Celimontana on the Caelian Hill is the ideal place for a stroll in a green space behind the Colosseum. Originally, the area around the villa was a vegetable garden, a vineyard and later when the property passed to the Mattei family, it became a garden adorned with statues and fountains, many of which have since been destroyed. Walking around, you'll find the Matteian Obelisk decorated with hieroglyphics of Pharaoh Ramses II, some archaeological remains and the Nymphaeum of the Uccelliera, dating back to the 16th century, with its frescoes and floor mosaics. The Neo-Gothic Temple and the River Fountain topped by a river deity are must-see highlights. During the summer, the park hosts jazz concerts and shows.
Admission to the garden is free. The Villa is the headquarters of the Italian Geographic Society, open to the public by appointment, where you can visit the rooms where architectural and artistic treasures are kept and the heritage preserved in the archives.