We arrived in the romantic city of Rome one beautiful October morning just after dawn. Although unsurprisingly exhausted by our transatlantic flight, we were determined to fight the jetlag, and so hit the ground running (or at least walking), as usual.
We spent much of that day exploring Vatican City and the surrounding area. Early evening found us about a mile to the south, in the Villa Doria Pamphili Park, led there by a string of geocaches.
I didn’t realise at the time, but Villa Doria Pamphili is one of the largest parks in Rome, covering an area of approximately 450 acres.
There was already a villa on the site when the Pamphili family purchased the property in 1630 and started enlarging the estate by buying up adjoining vineyards. When Cardinal Giambattista Pamphili became Pope Innocent X in 1644, the whole thing had to be upgraded, of course.
The last Pamphili died in 1760 and the estate eventually became the property of Prince Giovanni Andrea IV Doria. It has been known as Villa Doria Pamphili ever since, although today it’s a public park.
The modern park contains a wealth of buildings, sculptures, fountains and gardens, many of them dating back centuries. However, the same can be said of practically everywhere you look in Rome.
Consequently, the thing, or more accurately, things that really captured my attention were the trees. Perhaps because they reminded me so much of the Serengeti’s acacias.
They looked especially stunning backlit by the sinking sun, as day turned to night.
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