If you love gardens, you absolutely must not miss the oasi of Ninfa.
Ninfa was a medieval city abandoned by its inhabitants because of malaria and slowly fall into disrepair.
The town was deserted for 600 years until the twentieth century, when three generations of the Caetani family decided to revive the city (that belonged to the family) like a garden. They realized that the crumbling buildings and stone bridges of the town were a dreamlike setting for a garden.
In 1922 the English born Duchess of Sermoneta, planted the roses which still cascade over trees and ruins, scrambling to enormous heights. Her son, Prince Gelasio, planted the ilexes, cypresses, black walnuts and magnolia grandiflora whic, now mature, give the garden its air of timelessness.
After the prince’s death his brother Roffredo and his American wife Marguerite, lived at Ninfa for twenti-five years, adding collections of flowering trees and creating more streams to criss-cross the garden. They were followed by Lelia Caetani, an artist, and her husband Hubert Howard, who added more magnolias, paulonia fargesii and began an arboretum outside the walls.
Since 1976 the garden has been transformed into an oasi managed by the W.W.F.
Ninfa is an authentic paradise where history, art and nature have reached an equilibrium and a truly unique fusion.
Roman cisterns are a masterpiece of hydraulic and constructive architecture engineering that have merged in a superb way with military purposes of the Ancient Imperial Rome.
There are many tanks of the roman era that can be visited on different Regions of Italy such as those of Miseno, Pozzuoli or Formia.
Remains of ancient cisterns are also found in Tunisia, Turkey and Syria.
But the fascinating Cistern of Albano is the only source for water supply of the Roman era still perfectly working. The structure dates back to the first century before Christ, and is the one of the biggest cistern of drinking water ever built in the world of Ancient Rome.
The tank fueled the bath of the officier and petty officier and the drinking water system of the Second Parthian Legion, the Imperial Guards of the Emperor Septimius Severus (193 – 211 A.D.), the father of Caracalla.
In the military camp, located where now stands the modern Albano, lived 12,000 people (5,000 soldiers and 7,000 relatives).
The Ancient Roman Cistern consists of five gigantic underground naves with barrel vault supported by 36 giant pillars. It can contain more than 10,000 cubic meters of water and has been built within a natural bed of peperino, a vulcanic rock that has hydrophobic properties, and the pillars also have been coated with “cocciopesto”, a special waterproof cement that nowadays the modern manufacturing techniques are rediscovering.
You can book a visit throwgh the City Museum. Tel.: (0039) 069325759