The Janiculum Canyon – Stories and Useful Information


The Janiculum canyon Is one of Rome symbols most famous and appreciated.

Situated in the Roman hill of the Janiculum, where there is the walk most loved by the Romans, the cannon fires its shot every day at noon, to respect the ancient will of Pope Pius IX.

But let’s take a little step back and talk about the Janiculum Walk, from where you can enjoy an impressive view of the Eternal City.

In this historical area the heroic deeds of the fighters for the Roman Republic in 1849 and, in 1883, it was transformed by the new Italian institutions into a public walk dedicated to the memory of the Defense of Rome.

Curious to know more about the tradition of shot at noon and in the Janiculum? If you have already decided what to see in Rome and are ready for your itinerary, let’s see together everything about the Janiculum canyon and its history.

Rome, the Janiculum and the cannon: history of a tradition

From the history of this Cannon Walk, this is what you need to know to go today on the Janiculum and hear the shot at noon live.

The Janiculum walk

Before starting our journey to discover the canyon and the Janiculum park Let’s start talking about the Paseo and the history that this place tells.

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In reference to tradition, the Janiculum etymology would derive from God Janus, who would have founded an inhabited center known as Ianiculum.

Going further in time, precisely in the XIX century, the Janiculum is known for having been the scene, in 1849, of the heroic defense of the brief Roman Republic against the French summoned by Pius IX to recover Rome.

After the unification of Italy, the Janiculum walk in Rome, dotted with important testimonies of the Italian Risorgimento such as the marble half-busts and the portraits of the illustrious Garibaldini.

In addition, at the highest point of the hill, you can admire the equestrian statues of Garibaldi and of Anita.

The Gianicolo cannon: when (and why) it fires

The Janiculum canyon is a true symbol for those who visit the city of Rome. According to the will of Pope Pius IX, from 1847 the cannon of the Janiculum fires a blank shot every day at noon sharp, to give a banner to the bells of churches of Rome.

At that time, the cannon was located in Castel Sant’Angelo; then it was transferred for a few months to Monte Mario, another panoramic point of Rome, in 1903. Later, the cannon was permanently placed in the Janiculum, under the equestrian statue of Garibaldi.

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On some days when the city is less chaotic and crowded, the gunshot can be heard until Esquiline.

Three curiosities on the canyon of the Janiculum:

  • Its use was not interrupted during the unification of Italy, but it was during the war. It was restored in 1959;
  • The barrel currently in use is a 105/22 howitzer, Mod. 14/61;
  • The cannon of the Janiculum also appears in a scene of the film “The great beauty” by Paolo Sorrentino, Oscar for best foreign film.

A breathtaking view of the capital, the shot at noon and a walk through the myths of the Italian Risorgimento: what are you waiting for to visit the Janiculum and enjoy this beauty?