The Janiculum (Gianicolo in Italian), is not one of the seven hills of Rome but a ridge rising steeply from the River Tiber. It runs almost parallel to the course of the river for its entire length. The hill provided a natural defence against the Etruscans and was fortified after 87 BC, during a period of civil unrest. It was also the scene of Garibaldi's heroic stand in the defence of the Roman Republic against French troops commanded by Nicolas Oudinot in 1849. Today it is mostly covered with parks and gardens and has wonderful views over the city. To the north of the Janiculum is the church of Sant'Onofrio, dedicated to Saint Onophrius, a 4th Century hermit. Construction of the church began around 1439 and was completed in the 16th Century. The church contains a monument to the great Italian Renaissance poet Torquato Tasso (1544-1595) who died in the Convent of Sant'Onofrio under the protection of the pope, the day before he was to be crowned as poet laureate.