Rome’s Travelling Garden Supports Occupy Movement

November 22, 2011 by

A travelling edible garden in Rome called Orto Errante (which in Italian means Wandering Garden) made its way for about 2.5 miles (4 km) last weekend from Santa Croce in Gerusalemme to the the city’s Occupy Rome tents at a spot near the ancient Baths of Caracalla.

Rome may not have been built in a day, but Orto Errante was built in an afternoon. In the caring hands of a group of Roman community gardeners, guerrilla gardening groups, various associations and citizens, Orto Errante was constructed from painted recycled wooden market boxes and hemp bags filled with soil and plants supplied by various Roman gardeners.

Color-coded tags represented the origins of the plants.

Members of Occupy Rome asked Zappata Romana, a local group that leads community greening initiatives, to construct an edible garden near their tents in the square of the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. Zappata Romana called on the gardeners who maintain many of city’s community gardens and the response was surprising–more than 20 groups joined in.

For Orto Errante’s creators, the travelling garden’s purpose was less about growing food than it was about growing a movement. The garden was intended as a symbolic statement from the urban community, signifying the importance of land and nature, but was also in support of the greater Occupy movement, which the gardeners felt did not always “have a positive image from the media.”

The bag says “100% Pure Manure.”

“Garbatella Urban Gardens” on the side of a crate used as planter.

About Zappata Romana
The group, Zapata Romana, which mapped more than 70 community gardens and guerrilla spot gardens in Rome, “investigates community and edible gardens in as a collective action for urban public space appropriation and development of environmental, economic, social innovative issues.” They consider themselves a group of “simple citizens” fighting urban sprawl with their gardens. The collective includes individuals from a social center for disabled people, some guerrilla gardeners who have appropriated a number of abandoned neighborhood public lots, and some unemployed individuals who work together on a garden projects, and “much, much more.”


  1. Jan @TWOwomenANDaHOE said:

    Love the idea of travelling gardens!!

    May all your gardens grow,

    — November 23, 2011 @ 08:45

  2. Annie HaVen | Authentic Haven Brand said:

    Great share and inspiration it can be done we just need to do it <|;-) Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday Annie

    — November 23, 2011 @ 11:59

  3. Chientai said:

    Yes, it’s really great idea to show how important and closed to the life of urban in this way. Thanks and maybe I can try it in Taiwan, too.

    — November 27, 2011 @ 09:40

  4. Jackson Tang said:

    Great Idea!

    — November 28, 2011 @ 22:19

  5. Robin Plaskoff Horton said:

    If you do try this in Taiwan, keep us posted on it!

    — November 29, 2011 @ 14:06

  6. abercrombie paris said:

    La quasi-totalité de ce que vous pointez arrive à être étonnamment précis et qui me fait demander pourquoi je n’avais pas examiné cette question dans cette lumière précédemment. Cette pièce fait vraiment particulier allumer la lumière pour moi autant que ce sujet particulier va.

    — May 5, 2012 @ 02:08

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