About the HillIn the western part of Rome lies Gianicolo Hill, formerly known as the Vatican Mountain. It is located along the banks of the Tiber River and on the right side, opposite the Aventine Hill. This hill is the second tallest in Rome and its highest point is on its northern end, which is 146 meters above sea level. From it, of course, you will see breathtaking panoramic views of the entire city. The length of the hill is 5 kilometers.
A pleasant stroll on the hill will include the lawns, many trees and plants, boulevards with famous head figures and spectacular vantage points.
One of the interesting points on the top of the hill is the church of San Pietro in Montorio, which is believed to have been built here, where St. Peter was crucified. The Fontana dell'Acqua Paola can be seen as well, which is a Baroque fountain built on the orders of Pope Paul V.
One of the unique things you'll find in this park is puppeteers. Children can also find attractions such as riding ponies, bumper cars, a carousel and a puppet theater.
The recommendation is to visit this hill after a trip to the Vatican and complete the trip in the Trastevere district.
History of Gianicolo HillDuring the Roman Empire the hill served as a sacred site for Janus, the God of beginnings and passages in Roman mythology. At that time, there were ritual rites, including the bird watching ceremony, which was meant to predict the future.
During the reign of Caesar Uralianus, the Aurelian Walls surrounded the seven hills of Rome as well as parts of the Gianicolo Hill. The entrance of the hill into the walls was intended to include the water mills that were on it and served as flour mills for the city.
In 1849 a battle was held on the hill between the forces of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the general, the patriot and the great Italian leader, and the French forces defending the Pope and his rule in Rome. Following the victory of Garibaldi, from Italy, Rome became the capital of the kingdom. On top of the hill you will still see a monument to the fallen in the struggle for Italian independence.
Ever since the year 1847, every day at 12:00 pm, shots can be heard here from the castle of Sant'Angelo - to announce the time. In 1904 the custom was transferred to a cannon placed at the top of the hill. It lasted until 1939, when it was stopped at the outbreak of World War II. Following a public demand, the ancient ceremony was renewed and it takes place everyday at noon on the plaza in front of the main building.