Monte Mario
The hill was known as Mons Vaticanus or Clivus Cinnae in Roman times. The current name, according to some theories, comes from Mario Mellini, a cardinal who around the middle of 15th century owned there a villa and several hamlets. In the Middle Ages it was however known as Monte Malo ("Bad Mountain"), due to the murder here of patrician Giovanni Crescenzio (998), whence probably the modern name.
The eastern part of the hill is a nature reserve [1], on the west side lies the now upmarket district of the same name. Atop one hill is the church and convent of Santa Maria Rosario. On the hilltop, now occupying the site of the 15th century Villa Mellini, is the Rome Observatory and the Museo Astronomico Copernicano (Viale del Parco Mellini, 84, Rome, 136 Italy). This location (12°27'8.4"E ) was used as the prime meridian (rather than Greenwich) for maps of Italy until the 1960s. The side of the hill was the former site of the Villa Pigneto built by Pietro da Cortona. The ruins of the structure were razed in the 19th century.The John Felice Rome Center, one of the four campuses of Loyola University Chicago, is located on the hill on Via Massimi.Although the highest hill in the modern city of Rome, Monte Mario is not one of the proverbial Seven Hills of Rome, being outside the boundaries of the ancient city.



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