Over time, with the progress of the swamp, the inhabitants of Tres Tabernae decided to move over a small hill over the course of time called Terra di Cisterna. Tradition has it that this name derives from an ancient cistern in the territory, built by Emperor Nero to supply his villa in Antium with water, a tradition that gave rise to the medieval toponym Cisterna Neronis, another name of the village in the Middle Ages. This cistern would still exist in the basement of the sixteenth century Palazzo Caetani, which rose on the top of the hill. This theory would seem to be confirmed by some recent archaeological finds of Roman hydraulic works found in the historical center of the city, a few meters from Palazzo Caetani.
Within the territory of Cisterna di Latina extends, on about 8 hectares, the Garden of Ninfa , a beautiful English garden created in 1921 by Gelasio Caetani. The oasis has been declared a Natural Monument by the Lazio Region in 2000 in order to protect the historical garden of international fame, the habitat of the Ninfa river, the lake formed by it and the marvelous surrounding areas that constitute the natural protective frame of the whole complex. Inside the garden of Ninfa you will find varieties of deciduous magnolias, birches, marsh iris and a sensational variety of Japanese maples, also in spring the cherry trees and ornamental apple trees bloom spectacularly. Many varieties of climbing roses are supported by the ruins and extend the long, vigorous branches on the trees. The shrub roses border the river, the streams, the paths or form flowerbeds.
The particularly mild climate of Ninfa also allows the cultivation of tropical plants. Exciting story of Ninfa, repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, fought for years between the Borgia family and the Caetani. Only at the end of the nineteenth century did the latter regain possession of the territories of the area, and in the early years of the following century Gelasio Caetani reclaimed the land and restored some ruins to make it a summer residence, such as the baronial palace which now houses the offices of the Roffredo Caetani Foundation . The realization of the garden was guided above all by sensitivity and feeling, following a free, spontaneous, informal direction, without established geometry. Marguerite Chapin, wife of Roffredo Caetani, with sensitivity cured the garden by introducing new species of shrubs and roses and in the thirties of the twentieth century opened its doors to the important circle of writers and artists linked to the magazines she founded, “Commerce” and ” Botteghe Oscure “, as an ideal place to get inspired. The Garden becomes a source of inspiration for many famous artists including Virginia Woolf, Truman Capote, Gabriele D’Annunzio and Giuseppe Ungaretti. Wealth of the Pontine and lepine territory, property of the Roffredo Caetani Foundation, the garden can be visited in some periods of the year, so that the delicate environmental balance is preserved and is part of the system of the Affiliated Oasis of WWF.
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