If you hiked up the Janiculum - and even if you didn’t - be sure to head to Bir & Fud in Trastevere afterwards. They do great pizza and have a microbrewery on site!
Rome was famously built on seven hills — but the Janiculum was not among them. It was outside the boundaries of the ancient city, but today it is the second tallest hill in Rome. However, it is by no means far from the city centre: it rises above Trastevere, just to the south of the Vatican.
It is among the best spots in Rome for a view of the city with its iconic skyline of domes and bell towers. The view takes in everything, from the gardens of the Villa Borghese to the magnificent curve of the Colosseum. The view is stunning by day and romantic by night — you will see more than a few lip-locked lovers.
On Janiculum hill the church of San Pietro in Montorio was built on what erroneously was thought to be the site of St Peter’s crucifixion. It was actually a pagan hotspot: adherents of the cult of the god Janus, the two-faced god of beginnings, liked to get together here. It’s height made it a good spot for augurs to observe the auspices in the sky over the city.
Rome, the eternal city, is of course renowned for its ancient history. But a walk along the Janiculum gives you a slightly more modern part of Italian history. Various busts and statues commemorate the Italian generals who fought to unify Italy in the 19th century, chief among them Giuseppe Garibaldi.
Every day, at noon, a cannon fires once from the Janiculum towards the Tiber as a time signal. This tradition dates back to 1847, when it helped synchronise the bell towers to start ringing at midday.
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