Whiling Away at the Gorgeous Vatican Gardens!

By: Paolo Pedica

There's one garden that will remind you that there will always be a special place you can run to whenever you feel troubled, but it doesn't take the fact that its overall design is more than enough to make you feel so blessed for the rest of your life. Such can be the simple message you will get once you get into the Vatican Gardens.

A private tour to the Vatican Gardens can take up to 2 hours. By now, you probably have a good idea of just how vast and big it is. In fact, it covers 1/3 of the entire land area of the Vatican City, the smallest country in the entire world. Walking through the various types of foliages means going back on the history that span for more than 2 centuries.

A Look-back on the Gardens

The history of the Vatican Gardens can be traced back on the times when it was then a large orchard and vineyard that's part of the Apostolic Palace. It used to be surrounded by walls until it was torn down, and two courtyards emerged. They were called the Pine Cone, or Pigna, and the Belvedere. There are two reasons why the gardens were created. First, Nicholas V wanted to have a venue for their papal court ceremonies. He also liked something that would give him some form of entertainment.

Design of the Gardens is the same text of Sistine Chapel

Today, anybody can visit the Vatican Gardens, provided that they choose to take a private guided tour. Normally, it will be opened at 11:00 a.m., every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between March and October. For the remaining months, it will be accessible every Saturday, on 11:00 a.m.

The Vatican Gardens is like going through another kind of world-a beautiful one-as expressed by the pair of small arches that can be located at the back area of the First Martyrs Courtyard. There's a 2-mile Renaissance Wall, which is now being occupied by the oval piazza and St. Peter's Basilica. You can also find the world-famous Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, and other offices totaling almost 10,000 rooms.

The Different Species Found in the Gardens

Plants are not all Italian. As a matter of fact, it's like taking a stroll into the different natural flora of the world, as almost every country is well-represented in the Vatican Gardens. You will be able to observe North America's maples, evergreen magnolia, and plane trees; Lebanon's cedars; Japan's sago palms; and Tasmania's eucalyptus, to name a few. Over the years, churchmen and missionaries contributed their own finds in the garden. Fortunately, they have found a great home in the Roman soil.

One of the highlights of the tour will be reaching the slope found at the eastern portion of the Vatican Hill, which was then considered to be infested with wild snakes by the ancient Romans. However, it's also the perfect venue for the Etruscans to practice their prophecies. The hill today is far from the untamed jungle you may have in mind. It's now covered with well-tended beds, lawns, and shrubs. There are around 30 gardeners who take care of the garden full time, so you know that you're not going to be disappointed once you decide to visit.

There are simply some places on Earth that will make you feel that life can still be rosy and a walk in the park. Just think of the Vatican Gardens, and you'll know what this means.

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