Caffarella parkflora and morphology of the area
This park presents some natural hills formed by the passage of a tributaryof the Almone river. When the river flooded the Romans built a 6-metreviaduct to pass over the river ditch.The other hills were formed during the construction of Line A of Underground when the City Council decided to dump the excess soil in the park.
The streets leading to the parkVia delle Cave: it got its name from the four tunnels underthe street from which tufo and pozzolana - the local stones- were extracted.Via Latina: it was known since the Paleolitic as the streetleading to the south of Italy. It was rebuilt by the Romansand got this name because it linked Lazio Vetus (all thepopulations of Ancient Latium). The Romans conqueredthese people who became Cives Romani.
The streets leading to the parkVia dei Cessati Spiriti: it was used to go to the south of Italy.This street was built as an alternative to the Appian Way whichwas controlled by lords who asked for passage toll. ThereforePilgrims built alternative streets in a low-lying rural area formedby the river. When pilgrims traveled along this dark street atnight they where often attacked by bandits who weren’t seen,so they were mistaken for spirits who lived along the street. In1800 guards were set to control the street and a shrine to theMadonna was built. In this way the spirits were warded off. Forthis reason the street is called Via dei CESSATI SPIRITI.
FAUNAParadise tree: Ailantus Altissima or Ailanto. It’s ahardwood tree imported from China to substitute thegypsum used to feed silkworms but in Italy it neverhappened. Black Poplar: from Latin Populus Nigra. It likes humidity and is a proof of the river presence in the past. Piazza del Popolo in Rome takes its name from this tree.
Cherry tree: from Latin Prunus Cerasiferas (carries the cherries) it has got a smooth trunk and big smooth leaves.The blossom is sacred and it is considered perfection in Japan. Robinia Pseudo Acacia: takes its name from the botanist John Robeon who discovered it . It has a large trunk with boughs and it is from north America and Canada.
Cypress:is the cemetery tree for two reasons: The roots are in contact with the ground. It’s tall and has a pyramidal structure which seems to put in contact earth and sky. Maple tree: from Latin Acer Mitundo, it’s on the Canadian flag.Lime tree: it has a heart-shaped leaf and it’s famous because honey can be produced from its blossom.
Hemlock: it’s similar to fennel, it’s a weed which, if eaten, frees irreversible enzymes which bring cerebral death. Holm oak: it is an evergreen from Latin Quercus Ilex. Otherevergreens are Cork and Umbrella Pine tree. Jude’s tree: from Latin Cercis Siliquastro, it takes its name from Jude who hung himself on this tree after betraying Jesus. The tree became red from his blood therefore the fruits are red.
River Almone: it’s the river flowing from the Alban Hills. It’s the third riverin Rome after the Aniene and the Tiber. It’s 20 km long and was sacredfor the Romans. Near the river there is the Constantinian columbarium(tomb) .Sacred wood: according to the legend Numa Pompilio wrote theRoman laws under the inspiration of the nymph Egeria with whom hehad an affair. This area became sacred for the Romans who plantedmany sacred oaks. This legend is narrated by Ovid. After World War IIonly a Holm oak remained. Now this area retains the genetic heritageof the last oak because the of this plant have been planted again.
The fountain of Egeria:is part of the heritage of Erode Atico . The legend saysthat the Athenian Erode Attico senior was so poor and desperate that he hit hishead against a wall and he realized the wall was hollow and he found a treasure.For this reason he wrote to Nerva who told him to use and abuse the treasure. Inrealty Erode was a bandit who had hidden the money and his son inherited itand on he built a fountain. It was an artificial cave with a statue in the center fromwhich the water of the God Almone sprouted, also providing the water for theoctagonal pool. It was a lacus salutaris. When the Torlonia family obtained theland they built an irrigation canal from the fountain.
Tufo: is a lava stone produced by the volcano of the Alban Hills.In this volcano the lava was very dense and in order to exit itproduced an explosion of gas and ash which hit all Rome withits pyroclastic flow that spread and destroyed every form oflife. 10.000 years passed and the volcano woke up againcausing another explosion: layers and layers of galate createdtufo (compact) and pozzolana (friable).The tufo is an insulatingsubstance.