Pincian Hill | Pincio Terrace is one of the most romantic and outstanding viewpoints that overlooks the historic center of Rome. Pincio’s Hill is in Villa Borghese, from the terrace it is possible to enjoy one of the best panoramic views of Rome.
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The modern Pincio occupies the very spot of the “Collis Hortorum” or hill of gardens, of the Romans so called from the famous villa of Domitian Sallust and Lucullus which stood here. This last property was, later on, bought by Valerius Asiaticus, who was put to death by the emperor Claudius at the instigation of his wife Messalina, under the pretext of conspiracy against the Emperor.
Emperor Aurelian in 270 A.C. presented these gardens to the public and for centuries they were used as a public park. Later on, the garden was abandoned and changed into vineyards, until the period of Napoleon I who in 1812, during the French domination had the locality laid out as it is now, to be used again as a park. The work of the French government interrupted by the downfall of Napoleon, in 1815, was continued by Pope Pius VII and completed by Pope Gregory XVI.
All around the garden, are busts of the illustrious men of Italy: artists, poets generals, philosophers, ets. We are indebted, for this important collection, to Mazzini, the great Italian patriot, who during the Roman Republic, of 1849, proposed its erection; his idea was, however, not carried out much later. Official Rome Guide, Rome walking city Tours.
The platform above “Piazza del Popolo” commands a lovely view of the West part of the city of Rome, having as a background the great dome of St. Peter’s with the Papal Palace and gardens; the Janiculum, on the left, with the statue of Garibaldi and the light-house, and Monte Mario on the right.
Pincian Hill | The Pincio promenade in Rome, located between Piazza del Popolo, Villa Medici, and the Muro Torto, was conceived to directly connect to Villa Borghese Via Delle Magnolie the Napoleonic administration, established in Rome in 1810, to meet multiple needs of urban nature.
On the one hand, the arrangement of Piazza del Popolo itself as the main North entrance to the City of Rome, on the other, the need to provide the “second city of the empire” with an urban space aimed at the recreation and health of the people.
Completed between 1811 and 1823, the Promenade was, until the mid-twentieth century, the actual city park, the garden of the Roman people.
Here the visitors were able to enjoy countless events and shows, from pyrotechnic pinwheels and concerts. Still today, it is a destination for walks and the Napoleone square, which overlooks Piazza del Popolo, is a favorite place for Romans and tourists.
Some noble families of ancient Rome had their Horti in this area: first, the Acili and then the Anici and the Pincii, who gave the name to the entire hill. Particularly famous, in this context, was the Horti of Lucullus.
In the second half of the 15th century, the acquisition of the area by the Augustinians of Santa Maria del Popolo gave new impetus to the site. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, they built a large farmhouse over the remains of a Roman cistern, using the vineyard they had planted there.
However, to get to the Pincio Walk project, we must return to 1810, when the Napoleonic administration created a public walk. Giuseppe Valadier presented a project in which closely connected the Piazza del Popolo and the Pinciano hill. But the central government did not approve of the ideas conceived in Rome, preferring to send the architect Louis Martin Berthault to the site, who reset the project by suggesting, among other things, the elliptical shape of the square. After (1814, the Napoleonic era), the project’s completion and the construction of the work were entrusted again to Valadier, who carried them on during the Restoration until 1834.
With the creation of the modern Municipality, in 1848, the Promenade was sold to the Town Hall. The following year the war events unleashed by the Roman Republic, during which the Pincio was fortified and militarized, produced enormous devastation. After the Mazzinian interlude repaired the damage, the first 50 busts of illustrious men were placed, commissioned by the republican government, and the architect Poletti designed various pieces of furniture. From 1853, the gardens were entrusted to the municipal public service. They undertook a radical transformation of the Promenade, creating a new layout of the avenues and the park in an “English” style, introducing new curved paths between irregular flower beds.
After the unification of Rome to the new Italian State and the establishment of the new unitary administration brought together the Giardini Service. The architect responsible was Gioacchino Ersoch. Between 1873 and 1880, will carry out numerous furnishing and maintenance interventions, including the sculpture of the hydro-timer and the water tank in “Swiss” style.
From the end of the nineteenth century, the face of the Promenade will not substantially change, except for the inclusion of new furnishing works, especially monuments, which will accentuate its celebratory character, effectively transforming it into an open-air “pantheon” of Italian memory.