Monte Mario

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The Monte Mario
Monte Mario Observatory

The Monte Mario is a hill in the northwest of Rome . It is located to the right of the Tiber on the border of the municipalities I and XIV. With a height of 139 meters above sea level, it is the highest hill in the Italian capital, but it is not one of the seven actual hills of Rome .

Name and story

The ancient Romans called the hill Mons Vaticanus or Clivus Cinnae . The current name may refer to the sea (mare) that can sometimes be seen from there or to the villa of Cardinal Mario Mellini. In the Middle Ages the Via Francigena passed here; the pilgrims also called the mountain Mons Gaudii . According to another theory, the name comes from Monte Malo .

After the unification of Italy, the Forte Monte Mario was built on the hill between 1877 and 1882 as part of the city ​​fortifications of Rome . In 1938 one of today's three locations of the Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma opened there . It is run by the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica , which is also based on Monte Mario. The meridian of Rome , established in 1870 by the Jesuit and astronomer Angelo Secchi , which served as the basis for the official Italian cartography until 1964 , had the Villa Mellini on Monte Mario as a reference point (the Torre del Meridiano reminds of this). In 1937 the first transmission system was put into operation on Monte Mario . The western part of the hill was gradually settled, while the east and north were placed under nature protection. In the middle of the northeastern slopes is the Villa Madama , which is used by the Italian government as a conference center.


  • Luigi Pallottino: Monte Mario tra cronaca e storia . La VJA, Rome 1991.

Web links

Commons : Monte Mario (Rome)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 41 ° 56 '  N , 12 ° 27'  E