What to see in Rome: Aventine Hill. The Aventine Hill is one of the seven hills of ancient Rome. Today it is a peaceful, wealthy residential area with beautifully landscaped streets and gardens. It is an often overlooked area of Rome but one worth exploring, especially for its views across the Tiber River to Trastevere and St Peter’s.
Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta (Knights of Malta) is surrounded by cypress trees and ornate walls decorated with obelisks and military trophies. The square features a large gate with an assuming green door. Peer through the door’s bronze keyhole to view to the perfectly framed dome of St Peter’s Basilica a few miles away, across the Tiber River.
Across the piazza on land donated by the Knights of Malta to the Benedictines, is the Benedictine Seminary and Church of Sant’Anselmo. The church is known for its Gregorian chants offered by the monks daily at 7:15p. Also onsite a gift shop selling liquors, marmalade, honey, handmade soap and cremes made by the Benedictines. If you don’t want to return with a simple t-shirt as a souvenir this is the perfect spot to pick up gifts for friends and family. There is also a large selection of religious objects, books and CDs.
Stop by this church and take in the original cypress doors, carved with scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The mosaics above the main door and the floor are originals. Ask to the see the 13th century cloister and cell of St Dominic who lived here before his death in 1221.
The Orange Garden, also known as Parco Savello, is considered one of the most impressive panoramic view of Rome. The name comes from the bitter orange trees in the garden. Bring your own bottle (and opener!) and watch the sunset.