/Hortus Urbis, Urban Gardening in Rome

Hortus Urbis, Urban Gardening in Rome

gardening rome

Not so long ago, much of Rome was populated by sheep and their keepers. Animals grazed in and around the centro storico and Romans tilled the land that today is occupied by mid-late 20th century urban sprawl. It would be an understatement to say the city has lost its connection to nature, but some are trying to mend this broken bond.

The past couple of years have seen a shift towards rediscovering Rome’s natural world. While this remains a niche movement, several urban farming initiatives do exist, foraging is practiced by at least one Swedish chef and one American food writer and an urban farming shop opened in Monti in late 2011. More importantly, there are around 100 urban gardens in greater Rome and counting.

View “ZAPPATA ROMANA”: community-run green areas _by studioUAP in a larger map

One of the more recent additions to this tiny trend is Hortus Urbis on the Appia Antica. Now Rome residents without gardening experience or land of their own can partake in seminars and courses aimed at bringing them back to nature. There are some really important collaborators in the project including Zappata Romana, Eutorto, Orti Urbani Garbatella, Cooperativa Coraggio, Giardinieri Sovversivi Romani. Starting February 23, a four-installment gardening course will begin at Hortus Urbis. For more details on how to get involved in Rome’s farming initiatives, reach out to the organizations listed above. To book the gardening course or to get more details, email Zappata Romana.

2017-02-17T15:16:54+00:00 February 11th, 2013|Categories: Culture, Food & Wine, Rome & Lazio|4 Comments


  1. Nicole Winkler February 13, 2013 at 11:20 am - Reply

    How exciting! I live in Sydney, Australia and am in the process of setting up our own verge garden and street food farm. Rome is my other home at heart and would love to see what is going with urban farming when we visit next year. I was so excited to see your post on your foraged olives as we are patiently waiting to harvest the first tiny crop from the verge tree we planted several years ago.

  2. Calgary Snow Removal February 15, 2013 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    Urban gardening is the way of the future, I’m glad to see Rome is getting on board. By the looks of your map, there’s a lot more urban gardening there than in most cities I know.

  3. […] But Rome have a great ecological history. Like Katie Parla writes in this post: […]

  4. Les Kishler August 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm - Reply


    Would you like us to send you one of our Seeds of Encouragement stipends (brief description below) to give a young person you would like to inspire to help you in your great work ?

    Our op-ed has been translated into Spanish and Azerbaijan. Would you consider translating it into Italian ? Here it is (600 words) http://scienceofagroecology.info/id8.html

    Les Kishler


    PO Box 321083

    Los Gatos, California 95032

    Seeds of Encouragement are $50 stipends. The stipends go to young people, seniors and others who are interested in community gardens. The money can be spent on vegetable or flower seeds, tools, soil amendments, books or any other item or hands on work that the recipient feels is appropriate for community gardens.
    The term Seeds of Encouragement is derived from the name of the non-profit group http://www.CommunityGardensAsAppleseeds.info . The term Seeds serves as a metaphor for starting things as diverse as apple trees and efforts to help nurture people and the earth by promoting community gardens.

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