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The view from the roof garden

Unique view over the antique architecture and the park

An empire such as Rome also felt under threat from external attacks. For this reason, in 270 A. D. Emperor Aurelian started building a wall that was originally six metres high and which was elevated up to eleven metres a century later, and which was finished by Emperor Probus during his reign (276-282). The Aurealian Wall that is nineteen kilometres long and around 3.5 metres deep is mainly built of brick, and with the exception of a few small sections is still fully intact. One of the numerous gates is the magnificent Porta Pinciana. It is a stone’s throw away from the hotel. According to legend, the Roman commander Belisar died under the gate as a blind beggar. A relief set into the wall diagonally opposite the hotel is dedicated to him and his achievements in restoring the ancient wall. The Victoria named its restaurant after him in his memory.

The Porta Pinciana is both one of the exits from the ancient city and an entrance to the Park of the Villa Borghese, the largest and historically most important park in Rome. While the other parks in the centre of Rome have been built on, the five square kilometre Borghese Park has been retained and is therefore an excellent example of Italian baroque gardens from the 17th century that was redesigned as a landscape park at the end of the 18th century. Even if the park is suffering from strained finances, the overall structure and many small details have been preserved. It was created at the beginning of the 17th century. After four hundred years, gardens from different eras are side by side, and a great deal of their former glory can still be seen. In addition to the numerous sculptures, busts and fountains, the Galleria e Museo Borghese with its famous art collection is a major feature, alongside a museum for Etruscan art, a zoo, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna and the oval arena of the Piazza di Siena, on which the renowned international show jumping tournament is held every May. Outstanding in the truest sense of the word are the magnificent umbrella pines of the park that reach up into the sky probably more majestically than anywhere else in the city – and directly in view of visitors to the roof garden.

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