,Head to Gianicolo from The Vatican or Trastevere for an amazing view over Rome. The area is on the second highest hill in Rome. In ancient times it was where Janus was worshipped. It became an area filled with sacred woods and buildings…a place for priests to observe the sky and be close to god.
Now it is a quiet place to walk and enjoy magnificent views, particularly at sunset. We were a bit early for that and it wasn’t a particularly sunny day, but the city still manage to look great.
In 1849 Gianicolo was the scene of an important battle, where Giuseppe Garibaldi fought the French troops. The hill is dominated by an impressive statue of Garibaldi on horseback.
Off to one side in a smaller park there is a memorial to Garibaldi’s wife, Anita, who fought beside her husband in many battles.
The monument was inspired by an event during the war fought for the freedom and independence of the Rio Grande do Sul Republic. While Garibaldi was away, his camp was attacked during the night. Anita managed to escape by jumping onto a horse and galloping away with her new born baby.
One of the panels depicts Anita leading soldiers across the Pampas.
Another shows Anita searching for Garibaldi among the bodies of soldiers in the battle of Curitibanus.
The north side panel depicts an ill and exhausted Anita in Garibaldi’s arms, having escaped from the Austrians after the defence of Rome. Anita died on 4th August 1849 on a farm near Ravenna. She was 28. Her body lies in the base of the monument.
Lining the road leading to Trastevere there are busts of partisans.
This chap seems popular.
There are some spectacular moustaches on display.
Garibaldi seems to have recruited a Finn to fight for the cause. He is now in front of the Finnish Embassy.
A little further down the hill towards Trastevere is the Aqua Paola fountain built in the late 17th century to celebrate the reopening of a Roman aqueduct created in 109ad by Emperor Trajan.
Further downhill is the impressive War Memorial.
The crypt of the mausoleum holds the remains of those who died for Rome to become the capital of a united Italy. In the list of the fallen, carved in marble, are the names of all those heroes, men and women, famous and obscure, from the officers to the drummer boys, 16, 14 and 11 years old.
Don’t miss Gianicolo if you go to Rome, for the view and the history.