Sunday, January 26, 2014


Dubbed the eighth hill and connected to the history of Rome just as much as the legendary seven hills
It is 82 m (270 feet) high
It is located on the right bank the Tiber, originally in Etruscan territory
The name of the hill in the tradition derives from the god Janus, who would have founded a town on the hill known by the name of Ianiculum. In reality, the name is in relation to this divinity on the Janiculum Hill there was only a chapel dedicated to his son Fons or Fontus
There was a small town (Pagus Ianiculensis) at the foot of the hill in the area corresponding to today's Piazza Mastai
It would have been occupied and annexed to Rome by Anco Marcio (640/616) who would have fortified it and connected to the city via the SUBLICIO BRIDGE on which the ancient road going through the hill and coming from Etruria used to pass; it later became the Via Aurelia
The original bridge was named Sublicio for the sublicae, planks of wood with which it was built, fixed by bronze nails. Horatius Cocles, according to legend, in 507 BC stopped the Etruscans on the bridge Sublicius and the Romans cut it behind him
The hill was not very much inhabited for the water shortage until the construction of the Trajan aqueduct
The Romans used to raise a flag on the Janiculum as a safety signal when the speeches were held in the Campus Martius outside the city walls
An area of the Janiculum Hill was covered with the sacred woods of the TEMPLE OF FURRINA near which Gaius Gracchus killed himself in 121 BC
Another area of worship, in a later period, was the SANTUARIO SIRIACO (Syrian Shrine) on the east slope of the hill, today Via Dandolo

The road winding from Via Garibaldi towards S. Pietro in Montorio was traced in the years 1865/68 by Federico Arcangeli and was lined with elm, locust, plane trees and melie azedarach

The PASSEGGIATA DEL GIANICOLO (Janiculum Esplanade) was opened in the years 1883/96. The stretch between the "Fontanone" of the Acqua Paola and Piazzale Garibaldi was inaugurated in 1884 and other large sections were opened to the public in 1887

Along the walking path of the hill there are “Eighty-four marble busts of Garibaldi's heroes” 1883/1949 made by various sculptors including:

 “Luigi Mercantini” beginning of 1900s by Ettore Ximenes (1855/1926)

“Angelo Tittoni” 1902 by Ettore Ferrari (1845/1929)

“Achille Sacchi” about 1908, “Eugenio Agneni” 1923 and “Giovanni Costa” 1926/27 by Giovanni Prini (1877/1958)

“Colomba Porzi Antonietti” 1910/11 by Giovanni Nicolini (1872/1956)

“Paolo Narducci” 1921, “Augusto Valenziani” about 1920 and “Raffaele Cadorna” 1923 by Publio Morbiducci (1889/1963)

Four busts represent foreigners fighting with Garibaldi: an Englishman, a Finn, a Hungarian and a Bulgarian
Under the Belvedere (viewpoint) of the Janiculum Hill every day since 1904 at 12 o'clock three soldiers load a cannon with blanks and fire a shot
The tradition dates back to Pius IX Mastai-Ferretti (1846/78) who instituted this service in 1846 to avoid confusion with time. Before firing from the Janiculum Hill, the cannon used to fire from Castel Sant'Angelo first and then from Monte Mario

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