A Garden Stroll in the Green Heart of Rome


The 18th century Fontana dei Cavalli Marini stands in the middle of a round plaza surrounded by trees and walkways at the Via Pinciana main entrance of the Borghese Gardens.


I woke up this morning inside my little mountain cabin in NW Oregon to a world as pristine, fresh and beautiful as can be imagined. With a steaming mug of coffee in hand, I stood in front of the window to observe the new day. The broad expanse of blue sky draped the valley below like a canopy, backed by the long silhouette of distant hills. Evergreen trees dusted with snow ran like rivulets down the hillside before me, skirting open meadows here and there.

My snow-covered deck dimpled in the sunlight. Chill air filled my lungs as I read the thermometer on the front porch. Only 24 degrees. Yet I felt beckoned to go for a long walk in the sunlight. To let the sun’s golden rays brush my face on this cold winter day.

I thought of another place and another time not so long ago. While in Rome on a much warmer day, my wandering feet took me from Piazza del Popolo and up to the Borghese Gardens. It was here that I found my heart-shaped green oasis away from the maddening crowds. Long roads of shade trees kept me cool as I explored the gardens. It quickly became my favorite place to walk in Rome. There is so much to see along the way, from playful, splashing fountains, gelato and refreshment stands, benches to rest, the zoo, and the Borghese Gallery. Several spots along the edge of the park offer gorgeous viewpoints to survey the expanse of the Eternal City.

For a moment I found myself suspended between two different worlds, each as beautiful as the other. Today I will enjoy my brisk walk in this winter wonderland while I dream of returning to that garden stroll in the green heart of Rome.



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