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Aventine rose garden, Rome

Aventine rose garden is home of the prestigious Premio Roma, an internationally renowned rose competition held annually in May. The 2.5-acre municipal garden is the progeny of Pennsylvania-born Countess Mary Gayley Senni, who donated her rose collection to the city in 1924. It occupies a flank of the Aventine Hill overlooking the Circus Maximus that served as the city's Jewish cemetery from about 1650 to 1900 commemorated by the menorah-shaped landscaping of the garden's upper section. It now has 1,000 varieties of roses, including one with green blossoms from China and Condesa de Sástago, Spanish winner of the first Premio Roma in 1933. -- Susan Spano Read more: Secrets of Rome revealedSandraW12 / Flickr