Thursday, August 6, 2020



Via XX Settembre 66/68a

1500s, formerly VILLA CICCIAPORCI named after the Florentine family who built it

It was transformed in the mid-1700s, maybe by Paolo Posi (1708/76) for the Cardinal Silvio Valenti Gonzaga, Secretary of State of Benedict XIV Lambertini (1740/58). The CASINO (the main body of the villa) dates back to that time

The villa at the time was called VILLA VALENTI

It was called Villa Bonaparte or also VILLA PAOLINA (Pauline Villa) after the sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, who bought it in 1816, lived there until 1824 and renewed it according to the taste of the time, maybe with the help of Luigi Canina (1795/1856)

“With Pauline Bonaparte it was a time of splendor for the villa, as recalled by Lady Morgan in his memoirs: 'Of all the villas that the Borghese family owns only one is habitable, only one offers English propriety, French elegance and Italian taste united in the most wonderful way and that villa is Villa Paolina'. The villa between 1815 and 1824 also became a place hospitable to all Napoleonists banished from France, always welcomed with generosity by Pauline” (Claudio Rendina – from “La Repubblica” of October 1, 2007)

It was badly damaged during September 20, 1870 for the breach of Porta Pia, which was opened in the very section of the Aurelian Walls, which corresponds to the boundary wall of the villa

In 1906 it was sold to the Prussian government, and it was owned by Germany until the Second World War as German Embassy

In 1951 it was bought from France and it is currently the French Embassy to the Holy See

Interior decoration with “Mythological Depictions” by Giovanni Paolo Pannini (1691/1765)

“The qualities of Pannini were stimulated by a close contact with the Roman classical world, substantiated by the charm of the monuments and ruins, at the time still closely inherent to the surrounding environment, and invigorated by the emotion of the continuous new archaeological findings” (Giancarlo Sestieri)

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