Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rome: Palatine Hill

AG: Last week our group went and spent 3 days in Rome, and it was certainly a great experience. Some of the few places we went to see were churches, the Vatican Gardens, the Colosseum, and the Palatine Hill. The Palatine Hill, which is right above the Roman forum, is known to be one of the most ancient parts of Rome and the center most of the Seven Hills of Rome. At the Palatine Hill there were many areas where they had decorated what used to be water fountains with white, purple, and light blue flowers. I could not tell exactly how they had designed the flower colors, but a pattern was certainly there. Around the hill there were plenty of beautiful trees, and it was easy to recognize the stone pine tree that we have basically seen all over Italy. It was also at the Palatine Hill that we were able to see what would be considered a true Jasmine flower (Jasminum officinale) compared to the false Jasmine flowers (Trachelospermum jasminoides) we have seen in other places in Italy, such as in Castiglion Fiorentino. The difference between a true and a false Jasmine they are from different genus and family (Oleaceae in case of the true Jasmine, Apocynaceae for the false Jasmine). The true Jasmine is for the most part a bushy shrub or a climbing vine and is non-poisonous. The false Jasmine on the other hand is considered too poisonous for human consumption. This was some of the things of a Jasmine flower that I had completely no idea about, and it was great getting informed of it.

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