AMOUG THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GARDENS IN EUROPE

The Garden of Ninfa

The Garden of Ninfa was declared in the year 2000
Natural  Monument by the Regione Lazio 

History and creation of garden of ninfa
  • The origins
  • from XIV C. to XVII C.
  • From XIV C. To XVII c.
The name Ninfa derives from a Roman temple built near the current garden and dedicated to the water deities.

Ninfa was part of a larger territory called Campagna and Marittima. In the 8th century it became part of the papal administration and had a strategic role due to its position on the foothill route or via pedemontana which connected Rome and Naples and was used by travellers during periods when the Via Appian was flooded.

From the 11th century the town of Ninfa was governed by various noble families such as the Conti di Tuscolo and the Frangipani, under whom
 the town’s architecture flourished and the economic and political importance of Ninfa grew: in 1159 Cardinal Rolando Bandinelli was crowned Alexander III in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the ruins of which are visible today.

In 1298 Benedetto Caetani, Pope Bonifacio VIII, bought Ninfa and other neighbouring territories for his nephew Pietro II Caetani, marking the beginning of the presence of the Caetani family in the Pontine region. The small feudal proprietors of Ninfa were persuaded to sell their holdings to the Caetani for 200,000 gold florins.
In 1382 Ninfa was sacked and destroyed by the troops supporting the anti-Pope in the Great Schism.

The city was never again rebuilt, also because of the malaria that infested the nearby plain, the few remaining inhabitants left leaving behind the remains of a ghost town; the Caetani themselves moved to Rome and elsewhere.  

The churches continued to be officiated by the inhabitants of the nearby hills throughout the 15th century and in part of the 16th century, and then abandoned. Today the ruins of five churches can be seen whose frescoes were detached in 1971 to be kept in the Caetani castle of Sermoneta: San Giovanni, San Biagio, San Pietro Fuori le Mura, San Salvatore and Santa Maria Maggiore.
In the 16th century, Cardinal Nicolò III Caetani, a lover of botany, created a ‘garden of delights’ at Ninfa that included a walled garden, hortus conclusus, situated next to the medieval castle. Today, original features of the walled garden, for example fish ponds and ornamental fountains, can still be seen.
 
In the late 17th century, Duke Francesco Caetani IV, a Prince ‘no less good at governing flowers than men’, made efforts to restore the walled garden, cultivating fashionable tulips and rare citrus varieties, including the Citrus Cajetanus.
The Caetani began to revisit long-abandoned Ninfa towards the end of the 19th century.

In the early 1920s, Gelasio Caetani, with his English-born mother Ada Bootle Wilbraham, began to clear the site, laying out a garden in the Anglo-Saxon romantic style. They planted the first cypresses, holm oaks, beeches, and roses in large numbers. With this work came restoration of the medieval buildings, including the municipal hall, later to become the family’s country house. The celebrated Pontine marshes were finally drained in 1933.

The creation of the garden was essentially a work of sensitivity and informality, without geometric preconceptions. Marguerite Chapin, Roffredo Caetani’s American-born wife, introduced new species of shrubs and roses, but above all, in the mid-1930s, she opened Ninfa to her circle of writers and artists, many of them associated with Rome-based Botteghe Oscure, the second of her literary reviews.
The last heir and Caetani gardener was Lelia, daughter of Roffredo and Marguerite. A sensitive woman, she took exquisite care of the garden. Being a painter, she visualised its development and colours in painterly terms. She liked things to be natural, so banned the use of chemical herbicides. Together with her mother, she introduced numerous magnolias, prunus, climbing roses. She also created the rock garden.

In 1972, five years before her death, Donna Lelia established the Roffredo Caetani Foundation to preserve the memory of the Caetani family and conserve the garden of Ninfa and the nearby Caetani castle in Sermoneta.
  • NASCITA
  • Dal XIV al XVII sec.
  • Dal XIV al XVII sec.
The name Ninfa derives from a Roman temple built near the current garden and dedicated to the water deities.

Ninfa was part of a larger territory called Campagna and Marittima. In the 8th century it became part of the papal administration and had a strategic role due to its position on the foothill route or via pedemontana which connected Rome and Naples and was used by travellers during periods when the Via Appian was flooded.

From the 11th century the town of Ninfa was governed by various noble families such as the Conti di Tuscolo and the Frangipani, under whom
 the town’s architecture flourished and the economic and political importance of Ninfa grew: in 1159 Cardinal Rolando Bandinelli was crowned Alexander III in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the ruins of which are visible today.

In 1298 Benedetto Caetani, Pope Bonifacio VIII, bought Ninfa and other neighbouring territories for his nephew Pietro II Caetani, marking the beginning of the presence of the Caetani family in the Pontine region. The small feudal proprietors of Ninfa were persuaded to sell their holdings to the Caetani for 200,000 gold florins.
In 1382 Ninfa was sacked and destroyed by the troops supporting the anti-Pope in the Great Schism.

The city was never again rebuilt, also because of the malaria that infested the nearby plain, the few remaining inhabitants left leaving behind the remains of a ghost town; the Caetani themselves moved to Rome and elsewhere.  

The churches continued to be officiated by the inhabitants of the nearby hills throughout the 15th century and in part of the 16th century, and then abandoned. Today the ruins of five churches can be seen whose frescoes were detached in 1971 to be kept in the Caetani castle of Sermoneta: San Giovanni, San Biagio, San Pietro Fuori le Mura, San Salvatore and Santa Maria Maggiore.
In the 16th century, Cardinal Nicolò III Caetani, a lover of botany, created a ‘garden of delights’ at Ninfa that included a walled garden, hortus conclusus, situated next to the medieval castle. Today, original features of the walled garden, for example fish ponds and ornamental fountains, can still be seen.
 
In the late 17th century, Duke Francesco Caetani IV, a Prince ‘no less good at governing flowers than men’, made efforts to restore the walled garden, cultivating fashionable tulips and rare citrus varieties, including the Citrus Cajetanus.
The Caetani began to revisit long-abandoned Ninfa towards the end of the 19th century.

In the early 1920s, Gelasio Caetani, with his English-born mother Ada Bootle Wilbraham, began to clear the site, laying out a garden in the Anglo-Saxon romantic style. They planted the first cypresses, holm oaks, beeches, and roses in large numbers. With this work came restoration of the medieval buildings, including the municipal hall, later to become the family’s country house. The celebrated Pontine marshes were finally drained in 1933.

The creation of the garden was essentially a work of sensitivity and informality, without geometric preconceptions. Marguerite Chapin, Roffredo Caetani’s American-born wife, introduced new species of shrubs and roses, but above all, in the mid-1930s, she opened Ninfa to her circle of writers and artists, many of them associated with Rome-based Botteghe Oscure, the second of her literary reviews.
The last heir and Caetani gardener was Lelia, daughter of Roffredo and Marguerite. A sensitive woman, she took exquisite care of the garden. Being a painter, she visualised its development and colours in painterly terms. She liked things to be natural, so banned the use of chemical herbicides. Together with her mother, she introduced numerous magnolias, prunus, climbing roses. She also created the rock garden.

In 1972, five years before her death, Donna Lelia established the Roffredo Caetani Foundation to preserve the memory of the Caetani family and conserve the garden of Ninfa and the nearby Caetani castle in Sermoneta.
Garden of ninfa
CREDITS PH
V. De Rubeis, S. Manfredini, P.G. Sottoriva
garden of ninfa
CREDITS PH
V. De Rubeis, S. Manfredini, P.G. Sottoriva
VISIT the garden of ninfa

The Garden of Ninfa can be visited on the days it is open to the public by booking on the website www.giardinodininfa.eu. Organized groups can visit the garden outside the dates indicated on the site by booking a guided tour by writing to the email ingressoninfa@frcaetani.it. The garden is open to schools with guided tours in March, April and May.

The Garden of Ninfa can be visited on the days it is open to the public by booking on the website www.giardinodininfa.eu. Organized groups can visit the garden outside the dates indicated on the site by booking a guided tour by writing to the email ingressoninfa@frcaetani.it. The garden is open to schools with guided tours in March, April and May.

  • public openings
  • organized Groups
  • schools
  • ELderly centers
  • informations
OPEN TO PUBLIC
Booking and purchase of the visit fee are mandatory on the website
 www.giardinodininfa.eu 

OPENING DAYS
Check all updated dates here
ENTRANCE CONTRIBUTION
With the indispensable contribution of each visitor, the Roffredo Caetani Foundation provides for the maintenance and enhancement of the Garden of Ninfa.

BUY ENTRANCE FEES HERE
Adults (+ € 0,75 online Pre-booking)€ 15,00-
Visitor with a disability (severe disability > 75%)
+ accompanying person*
€ 8,00 cad.*payment on arrival
Children under 12 years old **
Free**accompanied by an adult
Adults (+ € 0,75 online Pre-booking)€ 15,00
Visitor with a disability (severe disability > 75%) + accompanying person*
€ 8,00 cad.
Children under 12 years old **
Free
*Purchase of the entrance fee on the spot
**Accompanied by an adult
We remind that for payments via PayPal, or by credit card on site, the purchase receipt will be the proof.

ORGANIZED GROUP
Reservation is mandatory.


- Groups who want to book on days other than those open to the public must send the request via email to the booking office: ingressoninfa@frcaetani.it

- In the request email specify the day, the number of participants and please, for organizational purposes, provide a telephone number that can be contacted on the day of the visit.
- For groups of less than 25 people, it is still possible to visit the Garden all year round with an increase in the per capita entrance fee
For informations ingressoninfa@frcaetani.it

- Entrance to the Garden is regulated only by a guided tour lasting approximately one hour, after which it is not possible to remain in the garden.
ENTRANCE CONTRIBUITION
With the indispensable contribution of each visitor, the Roffredo Caetani Foundation provides for the maintenance and enhancement of the Garden of Ninfa.

The rates indicated below are valid outside the official public opening dates.
Groups minimum 25 pax*€ 12,00 p.p.* Groups consisting of fewer than 25 participants (including minors) must guarantee a total entrance fee of € 300.00
Children under 12 year old**Free**Accompanied by an adult
Groups minimum 25 pax*€ 12,00 p.p.
Children under 12 year old**Free
* Groups consisting of fewer than 25 participants (including minors) must guarantee a total entrance fee of € 300.00
**Accompanied by an adult
OTHER INFORMATIONS:
Organized groups can pay the entrance fee on site or by bank transfer.

N.B. payment by bank transfer is non-refundable in case of missed visit.

- Invoices are issued only for Institutions and public entities, travel agencies or other companies in possession of a VAT number, for payments made only and exclusively by bank transfer. Invoices must be requested no later than 15 days from the date of the visit to the Garden. 
Contributions are intended per person and outside the days of public opening.
SCHOOLS GROUPS
Guided tours for schools take place in the months of March, April and May.
  
To book, write to ingressoninfa@frcaetani.it

The guided tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. At the end of the guided tour it is not possible to stay inside the Garden.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE VISIT
- Once the day of the visit has been agreed, it is not possible to move the entrance from morning to afternoon, or vice versa, without prior notice
- Specify the number of participants, including adults, at the booking offices
- A copy of the bank transfer must be sent to the booking office strictly 5 / five days before the booked visit, under penalty of entering the last morning shift or the last afternoon shift
- Upon arrival, report to the reception desk staff, located in the parking lot, near the entrance area, who will notify you of the exact entry time. We remind you that guided tours are managed according to the order of arrival
- The Garden opens at 9 am. As far as possible, we recommend arriving in the early opening hours.
- We recommend that you wear a sun hat, comfortable shoes, and bring a water bottle. In case of rain umbrella and k-way
- Inside the Garden, please use a moderate tone of voice and behave in a manner appropriate to the environment you are visiting
- It is forbidden to bring balloons, collect flowers or plants inside the Garden
ENTRANCE CONTRIBUTION
With the indispensable contribution of each visitor, the Roffredo Caetani Foundation provides for the maintenance and enhancement of the Garden of Ninfa.
Student (guide included)€ 6,00 p.p.
Disabled students + accompanying personFree
Parents accompanying€ 9,00
3 Teachers every 25 paxFree
Student (guide included)€ 6,00 p.p.
Disabled students + accompanying personFree
Parents accompanying€ 9,00
3 Teachers every 25 paxFree
Reservations are required by contacting the following office at the email address  ingressoninfa@frcaetani.it with which it will be possible to agree on the day, the number of participants and please, for organizational purposes, provide the telephone number of a teacher who will accompany the class the day of the visit. The booking office will communicate the bank details to make the payment.
We inform you that in case of no visit, the transfer will not be refundable.
ELDERLY CENTRES
Groups organized by senior centers, consisting of a minimum of 45 participants, can visit the Garden of Ninfa any day of the year.

Reservations are required by sending an email to the booking office:: ingressoninfa@frcaetani.it

In the request specify the day, the number of participants and please, for organizational purposes, provide a telephone number that can also be contacted on the day of the visit.

On the same day it is also possible to visit the Caetani Castle of Sermoneta, reservations for groups by writing to the email castello@frcaetani.it.
ENTRANCE CONTRIBUTION
With the indispensable contribution of each visitor, the Roffredo Caetani Foundation provides for the maintenance and enhancement of the Garden of Ninfa.
Groups (Elderly centre) - Minimum 45pax*€ 8,00 p.p.Groups of elderly centers composed of fewer than 45 participants must guarantee a total entrance fee of € 360.00.
Groups (Elderly centre) - Minimum 45pax*€ 8,00 p.p.
* Groups of elderly centers composed of fewer than 45 participants must guarantee a total entrance fee of € 360.00.
- Groups organized by Elderly Centers can pay the entrance fee on the spot or by bank transfer.
 
 - N.B.: payment by bank transfer is non-refundable in case of missed visit.

- Invoices are issued only for Institutions and public entities, travel agencies or other companies in possession of a VAT number, for payments made only and exclusively by bank transfer. Invoices must be requested no later than 15 days from the date of the visit to the Garden.

- Contributions are intended per person and outside the days of opening to the public.
REFRESHMENT POINT
At the entrance to the Garden of Ninfa there is a refreshment point with local, Pontini and Lepini products. Following government and regional provisions, reservations are recommended for lunch:
Ph. +39 3515626270
only for table reservations, accepted calls, SMS or Whatsapp.
RESERVATIONS
Groups visiting the Garden of Ninfa on dates outside the official openings can also book a visit to the Caetani Castle in Sermoneta or the Pantanello Natural Park, the latter only in the autumn season, being open from October to March.
NO DRONE ZONE
The Roffredo Caetani Foundation informs that it is forbidden to send drones on the entire area of Garden of Ninfa being a private property.
ENTRANCE AND VISIT
- The entrance is regulated exclusively by guided tours the tour.

- The visit lasts about 60 minutes and at its end it is not possible to stay in the Garden.

- Guided tours are guaranteed even in case of rain.

- The Garden is easily passable by prams and wheelchairs, paying attention to protruding roots, stones, low branches or other obstacles.

 - A wheelchair rental service is not available in the garden.
IN THE GARDEN
- Inside the garden it is not possible to have a picnic lunch or a picnic

- Dogs are allowed as long as they do not exceed 5kg in weight, on a short leash and owners should be equipped with special hygienic bags. The Management has been obliged to implement this limitation due to the inappropriate behavior of the owners of the dogs that have occurred in the past.

About the flora and fauna of the

garden of ninfa

In the garden of Ninfa there are cherry and ornamental apple trees that bloom spectacularly in spring, varieties of deciduous magnolias, birches, marsh iris and a sensational variety of Japanese maples.  
8+
Hectares
of extension
+1k
Plants
introduced
100
Species
of birds registered

ABOUT THE FLORA AND FAUNA OF THE

garden of ninfa

In the garden of Ninfa there are cherry and ornamental apple trees that bloom spectacularly in spring, varieties of deciduous magnolias, birches, marsh iris and a sensational variety of Japanese maples.  
8+
Hectares
of extension
+1k
Plants
introduced
100
Species
of birds registered
GARDen of NINFA
Doganella di Ninfa
Via Provinciale Ninfina, 68
04012 Cisterna di latina (LT)
ITALIA

The Garden of Ninfa has a large parking area for cars, buses and campers.
The taxi service is available from the Latina Scalo railway station to the Garden of Ninfa
: CHIAMA TAXI LATINA 

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