The Rose Garden of Santa Giustina, an hidden gem in Padua


Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Laura Teso

The Rose Garden of Santa Giustina is a little rose garden in Padua, near the Santa Giustina Basilica and the Saint Anthony Basilica. I particularly love this garden because it is:

  • Very quiet and peaceful
  • With free admission
  • Next to the city walls
  • Along a bike path (there is a space to tie the bikes)
  • You can admire colourful and fragrant roses
  • You can spot the domes of Santa Giustina Basilica
  • There are also a couple of benches in the sun and a shaded area with tables and benches to relax
  • In addition, the garden is attached to a Senior Centre and often, when you get there, you can see couples of sprightly ladies and gentlemen performing a slow dance and the notes accompany you during the visit.

My visit to the Rose Garden of Santa Giustina

The Rose Garden of Santa Giustina is a little garden, so the visit can last from half an hour up to… how long you desire. A gravelled path runs through it. Clearly, although there are roses that bloom with slightly different timing, the best time to visit it are end of April, May and first part of June.

Unfortunately, the explanatory panels are only in Italian. I try to briefly summarize what they say.

They start with an overview on the symbolic meaning of the rose that has inspired poets since ancient times. The rose can symbolize beauty, passion, caducity and rebirth.

The 100 specimens of the garden are divided into sections:

  • Sensory (species that stimulate the senses)
  • History of the rose
  • Roses of the World (the best-known and loved varieties like Queen Elizabeth, Iceberg, Fragrant Cloud)
  • Roses dedicated to famous people lived in Veneto (St. Anthony for example)

On the little signs you can read the name of the rose (The Name of the Rose! wonderful book), the name of the creator, the year of creation and the group of belonging. There are old roses, perennials or not, and modern roses (created from the twentieth century through hybridization between a moschata or multiflora rose and botanical roses).

As for the sensory part, it stresses some interesting characteristics of the roses:

Meaning of Colors

  • Orange = charm
  • Pink = friendship
  • White = pure and spiritual love
  • Yellow = jealousy
  • Red = passion and love
Red and White Roses
Red and White Roses

The scent

It is advisable to inspire only once for a few seconds on a single rose in order to better appreciate the scent.
There is also a classification regarding the perfume of roses, made by Monique and Henri Schenger Delbard, with the following fragrance notes: citrus, aroma, floral, green, fruit, spices, wood and balsamic. The ideal time to smell the roses is during the morning, with a temperature between 18 and 22°C.

Pullman Orient Espresse
Pullman Orient Espresse


the explanatory sheet contains a brief examination  of the different types of leaves, thorns and fruits.


Since ancient times, some varieties of roses were used as drugs or ingredients to cook (such as wild rose). Nowadays rose cordial or wild roses tea are still appreciated.

Did you know that… one of the best known modern varieties is the tea rose, so called because it was first imported in the West transported in shiploads of tea.

And now I wanted to mention some quotes I found about roses.

Rose Garden of Santa Giustina – Quotes about roses

But he who dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.
Anne Brontë

Of course, an ordinary passer-by would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she’s the one I’ve watered. Since she’s the one I put under glass, since she’s the one I sheltered behind the screen. Since she’s the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except the two or three butterflies). Since she’s the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she’s my rose.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
Walt Whitman

Quand vous devenez pessimiste, regardez une rose (Albert Samain)

Who’s been painting my roses red? WHO’S BEEN PAINTING MY ROSES RED? /Who dares to taint / With vulgar paint / The royal flower bed? / For painting my roses red / Someone will lose his head.
Disney’s Alice in Wonderland

It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees.
George Eliot

Santa Giustina Rose Garden
Santa Giustina Rose Garden

Rose Garden of Santa Giustina
Via Michele Sanmicheli, 65 – Padua
at Casa Ivo Scapolo

Free admission

Opening Hours
May-July: 9-12, 4-7
April and September: 10-12, 3-6
Closed: From October to March, Easter and Easter Monday

Rose garden map
Rose garden map

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