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Wine, dine and marvel over the roofs of Rome

The Hotel Victoria saves the best for last on its roof. All our guests are surprised when they step out onto the unexpected - a roof garden – and the largest roof garden in Rome in which you can enjoy Italian cuisine. In the summer months the chefs conjure up delicious dishes and grilled delicacies to delight the both the eye and the palate between roses and camellias, lemon trees and palms, bougainvillea, jasmine and gardenias. At the bar you can enjoy a cappuccino in the afternoon, an aperitif in the early evening and then a nightcap before retiring to your room.

The plants in the roof garden are a feast for the senses and the work of a passionate plant collector - the hotel owner Rolf H. Wirth. They are also a delight to look at with their leaves and blossoms in a myriad of colours. When the al fresco season begins in May, guests are welcomed by colourful azaleas and small-leaved rhododendrons as well as 15 different types of camellias that will not miss their homeland in far-away Asia. The scents are indulgent and sensuous – drifting for example from the orange jasmine (Murraya paniculata) or the multitude of wonderfully flowering gardenias. In the early summer the air bears the scent of roses, as the owner of the Hotel Victoria has collected 35 traditional and 15 modern roses. Alongside the roses the 12 different jasmine types grow, some as an upright bush, some as climbing varieties along trellises. The bougainvillea and various types of campsis then form living partitions in the garden. The taste-buds are catered to by the bartender and the chefs, who use various types of mint, laurel leaves and a wide range of herbs in their drinks and dishes. There are 15 varieties of rosemary alone up here. If you are looking to find plants that you will often come across in Mediterranean regions, you will of course not be disappointed. Lemons, Seville oranges and Bergamot oranges (Citrus aurantiifolia, C. bigarda, C. bergamia) are among the 12 citrus plants, and grow alongside kiwi plants and the Natal Plum.

The water in the fountain in the style of the Bocca della Verità in the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin installed next to the bar splashes away in the background creating a pleasant atmosphere. Here we will find even more plants that feel at home near water such as the Alocasia macrorrhiza, a Strelitzia, the bird-of-paradise flower, and a low-growing Marsh Calla. This rich plant collection is framed by palms. These include the Raphis excelsa with its wide, large leaves as well as the Mediterranean fan palm (Chaemerops humilis) and several Cycas revoluta (cycad), one particularly impressive example of which is over 100 years old.

All this and other familiar plants all grow on the sixth floor - but your gaze will travel further, over the balustrade to the ancient Aurelian Wall, behind which you will see the majestic pines of the Villa Borghese. Further on you will look over Rome extending downwards through the Tiber valley and climbing up over the next hill.


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