Although the Villa Borghese is Rome‘s most famous park, both the Villa Ada and the Villa Pamphilj are bigger. The Villa Ada is located in the north-eastern part of the city and is best known for its annual World Music Festival Roma Incontra il Mondo. It is also called the Villa Ada Savoia.
Villa Ada Rome
Opening hours and admission
Opening hours: Sunrise until sunset. Closed: Never. Admission: Free.
History and description
In the 17th century the Irish College had its seat here. Most of the area was then used for agricultural purposes. Towards the end of the 18th century the wealthy Pallavicini family acquired the land and turned it into a villa.
The Villa Ada was later owned by the House of Savoy, Italy’s former royal family. The Savoy had their residence here from 1872 until 1878, the year the park was acquired by the Swiss count Tellfner. The count named the villa after his wife. The royal family repurchased the land in 1904, but decided to keep the name Villa Ada.
After World War II the royal family was deposed and Italy became a republic. They also lost most of their possessions, including the Villa Ada.
Part of the Villa Ada is still privately owned. The Egyptian Embassy has its seat here, but most of it has been turned into a public park. There is artificial lake and a huge variety of trees, including a rare metasequoia, which was brought to Rome (from Tibet) in 1940.
There is a swimming pool and one can rent bicycles and canoes and go horse riding.
During the summer months the Villa Ada hosts “Rome Meets the World“, an anti-racist world music festival.
The highest point of the Villa Ada is called Monte Antenna. Antemnae (“before the river”) was an old Roman village of which some archaeological remains are left.
The Catacombs of Priscilla are also inside the Villa Ada.
Address and public transport
Address: Via Salaria, 265 – Rome (District: quartiere Salario). There are secundary entrances at the Via di Ponte Salario, the Via di Monte Antenna and the Via Panama. Public transport: Bus: 53.