The eighth hill of Rome, the Janiculum, was, as we said before, essential for the defense and control of the city; so much so that whenever the ancient Romans were holding a "comitium"(an assembly to elect magistrates), a flag would be raised on the hill indicating that there was no danger of attack.
The entire area remained outside the sacred city limits, the Pomerium, until the epoch of the Emperor Aurelianus. The hill was the burial site for such important figures as the mythical king Numa Pompilius and the poets Ennius and Caecilius Statius.
The hill's military importance was revived when, on April 29th 1849, French troops, who had been called to help Pope Pius IX against the newly-proclaimed Roman Republic, launched their attack. The volunteers led by Giuseppe Garibaldi
were forced to surrender after 2 months of intense fighting and the triumvirate of Mazzini, Armellini, and Saffi were forced to resign and go into exile.
There is a great monument to Garibaldi erected in the central Piazza where, from this, the highest point on the Janiculum, the hero looks down over Rome.
A short distance from here on the road leading down to the Vatican, you will find the monument to Anita, Garibaldi's wife, buried here in the spot chosen by her husband.