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Aventine Hill

Amazing vistas across Rome, beautiful roses, and a secret keyhole with a special view of St. Peter’s.

TravelCurious Tip

Check out the carved wooden door to the Basilica of Santa Sabina - one of the world’s oldest depictions of Christ crucified.

Inauspicious birds

Aventine Hill is the southernmost of Rome's Seven Hills. The Aventine overlooks the Circus Maximus and is opposite Palatine Hill, providing some spectacular views of the stadium in the valley below and the ancient Roman palaces of the Palatine directly across the way.

According to Roman mythology, the founding of Rome was decided upon the Aventine, when the twins Romulus and Remus quarrelled over who would found and name the new city and on which hill. This was settled through the divine practice of augury (looking at the birds to interpret the will of the gods); Remus saw fewer birds on the Aventine so Romulus won the fateful game, and Rome was founded on the Palatine.

Roses of Rome

It is assumed that in ancient Rome the hill was either state-owned or for public use, or was gifted to the common people. It was the site of numerous temples, including the Temple to the Aventine Triad Ceres, Liber and Libera, gods of the commoners or plebeians.

Today the hill has transformed into a beautiful residential area, but also is the home of the dignified 5th century Basilica of Santa Sabina - the oldest Basilica in Rome - as well as a stunning rose garden, which displays 800 different types of roses from all over the world. The garden is open to the public with plenty of benches dotted around, and is a truly lovely spot. Try also to find the secret keyhole in the old door to the Priory of the Knights of Malta, through which is a unique view of St. Peter’s, framed by their garden.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Rome
Bocca della Verità
Don’t get your hand bitten off by the Mouth of Truth!
Circus Maximus
A magnificent ancient chariot racing stadium.
Porta Portese Market
A large and bustling flea market, held every Sunday in Trastevere.
Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin
This Basilica dates from the Byzantine era, and is home to the Bocca della Veritá and the remains of St. Valentine.
Temple of Hercules Victor
The unique Temple of Hercules Victor is the oldest marble building in Rome, and one of its best preserved ancient temples.
The Garden of Oranges
A beautiful space named for its plentiful citrus trees, with fantastic views and important Dominican history.

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