Thursday, October 29, 2020


Piazza Venezia

 1885/1905 Giuseppe Sacconi (1854/1905)

Sacconi won the national competition of 1884, after the results of the international competition of 1882 had been revoked: the winning project had been by the French Henri-Paul Nénot and the monument was originally supposed to be built in the area of ​​today's Piazza dei Cinquecento

Sacconi had designed it to be built with travertine limestone but in 1889 a commission decided the use of Botticino marble from Brescia

The works were continued by Gaetano Koch (1849/1910), Pio Piacentini (1846/1928) and Manfredo Manfredi (1859/1627) after Sacconi’s death in 1905

It was inaugurated on June 4, 1911

Here in 1921 the Unknown Soldier of World War I was buried. Since then the monument would be called Vittoriano, whereas previously it was only known as Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II or Altar of the Fatherland

The decorations were completed only in 1927 with the two bronze quadrigas

Finally the monument was completed in the years 1924/35 by Armando Brasini (1879/1965) with the definition of the interior including the CRYPT OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER decorated with mosaics by Giulio Bargellini (1896/1936) and the construction of the FAÇADE ON VIA DI S. PIETRO IN CARCERE

IRON GATE by Manfredo Manfredi. It can slide underground

Enormous size:

135 meters wide, 130 deep and 81 high (443 x 426 x 266 feet)

The Statue of Liberty in New York is 46.5 m (151 feet) high without the pedestal, a little more than half of the Vittoriano

The monument is decorated with about one hundred works by major artists of the Italian academic sculptural scene of the end of the nineteenth century and of the beginning of the twentieth century

On the left "Fountain of the Adriatic Sea" by Emilio Quadrelli

On the right "Fountain of the Tyrrhenian Sea" by Pietro Canonica (1869/1959)


1924/27 on the left "Unity" by Carlo Fontana (1865/1956) and on the right "Freedom" by Paolo Bartolini (1859/1930)

TWO BRONZE GROUPS representing "Values ​​of the Italians":

On the left "Thought" by Giulio Monteverde (1837/1917)

On th right "Action" by Francesco Jerace (1854/1937)

FOUR MARBLE GROUPS representing "Values ​​of the Italians":

On the left "Strenght" by Augusto Rivalta (1837/1925) and "Concord" by Ludovico Pogliaghi (1857/1950)

On the right "Sacrifice" by Leonardo Bistolfi (1859/1933) and "Law" by Ettore Ximenes (1855/1926)

WINGED LIONS along the staircase

Giuseppe Tonnini (1875/1954)


Edoardo De Albertis (1874/1950) and Edoardo Rubino (1871/1954)


1911, originally golden, 3.70 m (12.13 feet) high including the sphere

From left to right: Nicola Cantalamessa Papotti (1833/1910), Adolfo Apolloni (1855/1923), Mario Rutelli (1859/1943) and Arnaldo Zocchi (1851/1922)

SIXTEEN STATUES representing "Italian Regions" above the sixteen columns of the portico

Executed at the end of the nineteenth century

Series of vegetable symbols carved with various allegorical meanings: palm (victory), oak (strength), laurel (bravery, victorious peace), myrtle (sacrifice), olive (peace, harmony)


On the left "Faith, Force, Work, Wisdom" by Giulio Bargellini (1896/1936)

On the right "Law, Bravery, Peace, Unity" by Antonio Rizzi (1869/1940)

On either side of the access door to the porch, under the right propylaeum, two allegorical statues "Sculpture" and "Painting" 1910 by Lio Gangeri (1845/1913)

Also works by Enrico Butti (1847/1932) and Cesare Zocchi (1851/1922)

Altare della Patria

Altar of the Fatherland

"Statue of the Goddess Rome" and marble frieze "Triumph Work and Triumph of Patriotism" 1909/1925 by Angelo Zanelli (1879/1942)

Equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II

1888/1901 by Enrico Chiaradia (1851/1901). It was completed after Chiaradia’s death by Emilio Gallori (1846/1924)

Base with friezes representing "Fourteen Italian cities which once had been capital cities or maritime republics" by Eugenio Maccagnani (1852/1930)

The statue is 12 m (39.3 feet) high and 10 m (32.8 feet) long, the king is 16 times larger than life, the weight is 50 tonnes (55 tons), a horse hoof is 60 cm (2 feet)

It's so big that when it was placed in its place, in order to celebrate, a lunch was offered by the smelter G.B. Bastianelli inside the belly of the horse with waiters and twenty-one people who ate, comfortably seated and lit by bulbs

Sanctuary of the Flags of the Armed Forces

Entry on the left side of the monument

Museo Centrale del Risorgimento

Central Museum of the Risorgimento

Paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, prints, weapons

Sections of the museum:

The Napoleonic period

The Congress of Vienna

The Revolutions of 1820/21 and 1830/31

Giuseppe Mazzini and the Giovine Italia (Young Italy)

Pius IX Mastai-Ferretti (1846/78)

1848: the Five Days of Milan; the Republic of St. Mark; the War of Independence

1849 and the Roman Republic

Cavour and the Crimean War

Victor Emmanuel II and the Second War of Independence

Garibaldi and the Expedition of the One Thousand Soldiers

From the Unification until the Aspromonte incident

The Third War of Independence

1870 the taking of Porta Pia

World War I



Via Urbana/Piazza del Viminale

The smallest of the seven hills of Rome: 25 hectares (62 acres)

In the republican period it was primarily a residential district, with rich houses along the Vicus Patricius, the current Via Urbana

Near the church S. Lorenzo in Panisperna there was a thermal building known as LAVACRUM AGRIPPINAE

By the Porta Viminalis, the Viminal Gate, (beginning of Via Marsala) there were the BARRACKS OF THE THIRD COHORT OF THE FIRE BRIGADE

The only known sanctuary on the hill was the TEMPLE OF NAENIA

Under the church S. Pudenziana there are other remains maybe of ancient baths and of the complex of the AREA CANDIDI, later incorporated in the PALATIUM DECII

In addition, outside the Servian Walls, there were the CASTRA PRAETORIA



Via Celso 1, angolo Piazza Galeno

 1900/02 collaboration of Ettore Ximenes (1855/1926) (it was his home-studio) with Leonardo Paterna Baldizzi (1868/1944), a pupil of Ernesto Basile

Together with the Cagiati Small Villa, it is the most beautiful Art Nouveau villa in Rome inspired by Norman architecture of Palermo, hometown of Ximenes, with echoes of the Viennese Secession

Frieze "Artists who worked in Rome around an Altar of the Arts"

Interior decoration by Ettore Ximenes



Via dei Gracchi 291

1900 Arturo Pazzi (Nineteenth century/Twentieth century)

It was expanded in 1909 by Emilio Albertini

External decoration in majolica with "Swallows" and fresco with "Doves" 1910 by Duilio Cambellotti (1876/1960)



Via Abruzzi 4

1904 Ernesto Basile (1857/1932)

Residential house shaped as a castle in Art Nouveau style



Via Fernando di Savoia 6

1902 Vincenzo Burattini



Via Aurelia 290

1908 Giulio Magni (1859/1930)

CLOCK TOWER framed by Neapolitan majolica designed in a floral style


Via Abruzzi 3

1902 Ernesto Basile (1857/1932)

Refined Art Nouveau style for the best Roman work of the Sicilian architect

The Florio family had moved from Calabria to Sicily where they became industrial tycoons and owned shipping companies. They were one of the richest families of the so-called Belle Époque period


Via dei Monti Parioli 15

1947/48 Luigi Piccinato (1899/1984), Silvio Radiconcini and Bruno Zevi (1918/2000)

Bruno Zevi wrote a History of Modern Architecture published in 1950. His intention was to review functionalism in the light of the changing needs of society after World War II

In this three-storey small villa with three apartments there is the refusal of the traditional plan and distributions of internal rooms, identical on the three floors

"In this building, albeit with the help of Luigi Piccinato, who was certainly more mature professionally, the ideas developed in the writings of Bruno Zevi had a first, perhaps still embryonic, application. (...) Especially the façade open towards the Tiber Valley and characterized by large panoramic balconies, reflected the desire to break the mechanism of mass production through an articulation of volumes. Inside, the idea of ​​linking the most possible of the various rooms in a continuous space by breaking the 'masonry box' is made possible by the use of sliding panels and transparent dividers. It was a design that Piccinato had already adopted in the Small Villa on Via Archimede 148" (Piero Ostilio Rossi)

Thursday, October 22, 2020



Via dei Colli della Farnesina 144

1968 Francesco Berarducci (1924)

 “The house, in harmony with the lush vegetation of the place, shows the interest for Scandinavian style of the architect (...). The volumetric articulation is defined by the different depths of cantilevered balconies producing an empiric chiaroscuro vibration” (Giorgio Muratore)


Via Quintino Sella 60

1904/06 Ernesto Basile (1857/1932)

 Beautiful style known as Floral

The interior has been transformed seemingly with no respect for the original design since ithe villa has become the Japanese Embassy


Via Mecenate 8

1929/31 Mario De Renzi (1897/1967)

De Renzi reinterpreted ancient styles in a simple and harmonized execution. Not spectacular perhaps, but definitely elegant

"Simplification and stylization of the classical figurative repertoire. In a particular reading of the language associated with the Novecento (Twentieth Century) style, columns, pilasters, rusticated stuccos, statues are reinterpreted in an almost abstract way and lose part of their meaning to become more a hint rather than an imitation. This happens in a figurative process that tends to lighten weight and chiaroscuro of the decoration and to enhance the value of continuous surface of the walls of the building" (Piero Ostilio Rossi)



Via Virginio Orsini 25/Piazza della Libertà

1902 Garibaldi Burba (active 1903/18)

Majolica by Galileo Chini (1873/1956), frescoes by Silvio Galimberti (1869/1956), works in iron by Alessandro Mazzucotelli (1865/1938)

Galileo Chini in 1911 decorated the throne room in the Grand Palace in Bangkok and in 1920 devised the sets for the premieres of the operas Gianni Schicchi and Turandot by Giacomo Puccini who was a friend of his. He is considered the first artist to have introduced Art Nouveau style in Italy

Together with the Villino Ximenes it is considered the most beautiful Art Nouveau villa in Rome

"Garibaldi Burba quoted the Middle Ages and the fifteenth century, having fun composing freely shapes and volumes. Exceptional quality of the decorations" (Irene de Guttry)


Via Boncompagni 18

1901/31 G.B. Giovenale (1849/1934) for Prince Luigi Boncompagni Ludovisi. It was built in imitation of the eighteenth century style with refined evocation of Roman Baroque

Bequeathed in 1970 to the Italian State by Princess Alice Blanceflor De Bildt widow of prince Andrea Boncompagni Ludovisi to be used for artistic and cultural purposes of public utility

Museo Boncompagni Ludovisi per le Arti Decorative, Costume e Moda

Boncompagni Ludovisi Museum for Decorative Arts, Costumes and Fashion

Antique furniture and objets d'art by various artists including Ernesto Basile (1857/1932), Galileo Chini (1873/1956), Duilio Cambellotti (1876/1960), Felice Casorati (1883/1963) and Leoncillo Leonardi (1915/68)

Also high fashion clothes designed by the Fontana sisters, Valentino and others, as well as collection of costumes dating back to the late eighteenth century and to the nineteenth century



Viale Regina Margherita 260

1914 Pio Piacentini (1846/1928) with his son Marcello Piacentini (1881/1960) for baron Arturo Berlingieri

It was built in Neoclassical style with references to the Renaissance and to the Baroque periods

Now it is the embassy of Saudi Arabia

Frescoes with allegorical themes by Ettore Tito (1859/1941)



Via Quintino Sella 65

1902 Giulio Podesti (1857/1909)

"The area of the most beautiful Roman villa, sold in 1886 by the owners, princes Boncompagni Ludovisi, was immediately parceled. Architects of prestige here designed housing for the upper middle class: 'palaces' facing directly the street in Via Ludovisi and adjacent streets, 'small villas' in Via Boncompagni and surroundings" (Irene de Guttry – Guida di Roma Moderna, dal 1870 a oggi)



Via Niccolò Porpora 22/Via Saverio Mercadante

1920/23 Arnaldo Foschini (1884/1968) e Attilio Spaccarelli (1890/1975) for the engineer Adolfo Sebastiani

The original name was VILLINO ROSMUNDA and the architectural style was the traditional one very common at the time, the so called Cinquecentismo (revival of the sixteenth century), even though adorned with decorative elements typical of the Roman Barocchetto


1955/56 Mario Ridolfi (1904/84) and Wolfgang Frankl (1907/94) for the Maria Luisa and Sante Astaldi owners of the building since 1954

For about three decades, from 1950 to 1980, the villa hosted a literary salon attended by various personalities from the Italian cultural world

"The Astaldi Small Villa, celebrated for the memory that ties it to the figure of Ridolfi and never to that of Foschini is, today, a work of architecture among the most complex. It is the symbol of the past that has ceased to flow in the present and a trip through the restlessness of our modern consciousness: not only a stratification that, as a geological repository, shows the trauma of the various periods of styles, but also the representation, visible, of a critical demolition of an entire season of Roman architecture and a break of which we still carry the scars. (...) Mario Ridolfi, one of the best architects in the Rome scene demolishes the top volume of the attic of the building to build a large floor of reinforced concrete, protruding from the top. A new building was so created, freely resting, it seems, on a kind of artificial soil, on modern ruins: 'completely detached - in the words of Ridolfi - and disengaged from the rest', it is devoid of the organic link that, in Rome, has always tied pre-existing constructions to the new ones. For this history of lacerations, Villino Astaldi seems to synthesize, in an exemplary manner, values ​​and contradictions of modern Roman architecture, where the quality of architecture is confronted with the fragility of rules and the sense and character of constructed evidence seems to become uncertain, even in the consciousness of the best architects" (Giuseppe Strappa - The value of a symbol, in Corriere della Sera on 04.03.2006)

After the death of the Astaldi couple the building was the headquarters from 1983 to 2006 of the association ITALIA NOSTRA to which it had been bequeathed

In 2006 it was sold for 12.85 million euro to a cultural association



Via Giovanni Nicotera 3

Built in the years 1913/19 and modified in 1932 always by Marcello Piacentini (1881/1960)

Marcello Piacentini had visited before the First World War many countries of Central Europe and he had come in contact with the architecture of the Secession in Vienna

"Obvious references to Secessionist architecture (...). The inclusion of the building in a corner lot suggested to the architect both the floor plan basically of trapezoidal shape, and the particular stereometrics articulation, characterized by the contrast between the convexity of the lower part of the building and the concavity of the upper part" (Giorgio Muratore)

"As well as in the overall volume of the building, the reference to the Viennese 'way' is transparent in the details: the simple and few moldings, the sobriety of the decoration, the finishing plaster, the design of the railing of the enclosure wall. Interestingly, some of the solutions adopted by Piacentini in the projects of this period (the type of finish of the exterior walls, the 'bow-windows', the variations of grain and plaster around windows to determine a vertical sense) will become part of a 'manner' visible in many buildings built in Rome in those same years" (Piero Ostilio Rossi)



Via Paisiello 38

1928 Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo (1890/1966)

It was boldly raised three stories over the years 1948/49 by Mario Ridolfi (1904/84), Mario Fiorentino (1918/82) and Wolfgang Frankl (1907/94)

Mario Ridolfi applied, with his project of superelevation, his ideas critical of functionalist architecture and in favor of so-called organic architecture

"The project highlights the desire to make a clean break with the pre-existence, both on a stylistic, and on a constructive level. The architects oppose to chiaroscuro and compact walls of preexisting structures, transparency and light articulation of new volumes” (Giorgio Muratore)



Viale XVII Olimpiade/Viale Tiziano/Via Pietro de Cubertin

1958/60 Vittorio Cafiero (1901/81), Adalberto Libera (1903/63), Amedeo Luccichenti (1907/63), Vincenzo Monaco (1911/69) and Luigi Moretti (1907/73) who later was the architect of the Watergate complex in Washington and of the Stock Exchange Tower in Montreal

It was built for the Olympics in 1960 in an area that was previously occupied by shacks



Piazza di Villa Wolkonsky

About 1829 Giovanni Azzurri (1792/1858) for the Russian princess Zenaide Wolkonsky who lived in this villa from 1829 to 1862

Princess Wolkonsky was the daughter of the Russian ambassador at the Saxon court and later at the Savoy court. She was the secret lover of Tsar Alexander I, despite being married to Prince Wolkowsky, his assistant in the field

She used to enjoy throwing legendary parties with guests such as Sir Walter Scott, Gogol, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka and Gaetano Donizetti

The building was expanded in 1890 by Francesco Azzurri (1831/1901), grandson of Giovanni Azzurri

After the Jewish terrorist attack on October 31st, 1946 which destroyed the British Embassy, ​​the embassy was moved here

In 1951 it was bought by the British government and since 1971, after the construction of the new embassy, it ​​is the residence of the British Ambassador

In the park of the villa there are THIRTY-SIX ARCHES OF THE AQUEDUCT OF NERO (366 meters - 1,200 feet) extension of the aqueduct of the Aqua Claudia up to the Domus Aurea

Columbarium of Tiberius Claudius Vitalis

41/80 AD discovered in 1866 in the park of the villa

It is a kind of tomb built in bricks, common in the second century AD, with three overlapping rooms of 4 x 3 m (13 x 10 feet) each, about 9 m (30 feet) high in total

There is a marble inscription above the door with a dedication to Tiberius Claudius Vitalis made by his father and architect of the same name and by his whole family

The first two floors have three rows of niches. The third doesn’t have any



Via G.B. Gandino - Aurelio

Beginning of the twentieth century for the family

The OLD FURNACE was an important center in the history of the Roman labor movement, as to be praised even by Lenin himself as an ideal model for master-worker relations in capitalist society

BUILDING in eclectic style

CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF WORK in neo-Romanesque style


6 hectares (15 acres) of the area of the villa are today the POPE JOHN PAUL I PUBLIC PARK

Monday, October 12, 2020


Via Nomentana 70

1802/06 Giuseppe Valadier (1762/1839) for Giovanni Torlonia who in 1797 had bought the Vigna Colonna (the vineyard of the Colonna family) with dilapidated buildings previously belonging to the Pamphili family

Continued and completed in the years 1832/40 by G.B. Caretti (1803/after 1850) for Alessandro Torlonia, son of Giovanni Torlonia

G.B. Caretti added the portico with the terracotta relief "Bacchus returning triumphant from the Indies on a chariot pulled by tigers" by Rinaldo Rinaldi (1793/1873), the two porticos on either side with doric columns and rebuilt and decorated personally (being both architect painter ) the interior of the building

After about twenty-five years of neglect the villa became the private residence of Benito Mussolini for eighteent years (1925/43) by paying a symbolic annual rent of one cent only

Mussolini and Prince Torlonia built a refuge from the bombing in the Jewish catacomb of the third and fourth century AD which is below the villa, extending for about 9 km (6 miles)

TWO OBELISKS made out of pink granite from Baveno, dedicated to the memory of the parents of Alessandro, Giovanni and Anna Maria Torlonia

Since 1978 the area of the villa is a public park

Casino Nobile

Twenty rooms on the first two floors:

Atrium - Bookshop. Entrance room


"Gable of aedicula with symbols of Fortune" of the Trajan period (98/117) from the Mausoleum of Claudia Semne on the Appian Way


Inspired by the so called stufe (stoves) of the Renaissance period

Decorations designed by G.B. Caretti (1803/after 1850), with grotesques paintings on a red background and panels with mythological stories of erotic subjects or subjects representing the sea, painted with the unusual technique of oil on wall, except "Galatea" painted with the mezzo fresco (half fresco) technique by the painter from Belluno Pietro Paoletti (1801/47)


Ceiling " Dante led by Virgil in limbo to meet the great poets of antiquity" by Pietro Paoletti


"Three stucco reliefs: Socrates drinking hemlock (from Plato's Phaedo), the Death of Priam (from Virgil's Aeneid) and the Dance of the Phaeacians (from Homer's Odyssey)" by Antonio Canova (1757/1822)


"Athena Parthenos" mid-third century AD

"Statue of the type of the Great Ercolanense or Ceres" second century AD, both restored by Bartolomeo Cavaceppi


Frescoes "Stories of Psyche" by Pietro Paoletti


32 portraits and painted architecture in Gothic style by Pietro Paoletti


Five sculptures faux-antique by the Studio Cavaceppi


Vault "Stories of Love" by Domenico Toietti (active 1840/62) and Leonardo Massabò (1812/86)

Lunettes "Flight of the Twelve Hours" and "Flight of the Three Graces" by Leonardo Massabò, "Parnassus" by Francesco Coghetti (1801/75)


"Torso of Herakles on modern herm" of the Hadrian period (117/138)


In the ceiling "Aurora, Day and Night" by Decio Trabalza (1804/42)


"Stories of the myth of Bacchus, the Seasons and the Three Continents" by Francesco Podesti (1800/95) within a decorative frame with grotesque masks and minutes landscapes by G.B. Caretti (1803/after 1850)


"Fake Gothic loggia punctuated by false windows" by G.B. Caretti

Two round panels into the ceiling with episodes of the poem Jerusalem Delivered: by Torquato Tasso: "Erminia among the shepherds" and "Armida abducts sleeping Rinaldo" by Pietro Paoletti


Small room with painted coffered ceiling. In the square panel in the center "Toilet of Venus" attributed to the Roman painter Luigi Coghetti only namesake of Francesco Coghetti who was from Bergamo


Mussolini's bedroom with original furniture already owned by Giovanni Torlonia junior


Chapel until 1905, then Boudoir


Study of Benito Mussolini

Within the decorative motifs painted by G.B. Caretti there are panels with stories of Cleopatra: "Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra", "Coronation of Antony and Cleopatra", "Cleopatra kneeling in front of Antonio" by Luigi Fioroni (1793/1864)



Vault "Stories of Alexander the Great" by Francesco Coghetti (1801/75)

Frieze below the vault in low relief "Triumph of Alexander in Babylon" by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770/1844) derived from the original in marble at the Quirinal Palace

Along the walls paintings "Allegorical Figures" alluding to the attributes of the hero and in the niches "Marble statues of Apollo and the Muses" by young artists working in the circle of Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770/1844) and his pupil Peter Tenerani (1789/1869)

Top floor:

Museum of the Roman School

Works of art dating from the period between the First and Second World War

"Magic Realism":

Francesco Trombadori (1886/1961), Antonio Donghi (1897/1963), Riccardo Francalancia (1886/1965), Ferruccio Ferrazzi (1891/1978)

“Scuola di Via Cavour” (School of Via Cavour):

Antonietta Raphaël Mafai (1895/1975), Mario Mafai (1902/65) and Scipione (Gino Bonichi) (1904/33)

"Although it lasted only a few years, from 1927 to 1930/31, the expressive story of the School of Via Cavour provides a sense of an experimental and anti-Novecento style idea, very modern in the way of renewing the Italian figurative research with violent coupling of light, with a strong sense of color and an ability to understand the changing nature of forms in the mysterious atmosphere of everyday realism" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)

"The Thirties":

Tonal painters such as Corrado Cagli (1910/76), Giuseppe Capogrossi (1900/72), Emanuele Cavalli (1904/81), Roberto Melli (1885/1958) and Guglielmo Janni (1892/1958)

Painters who developed a new "realist language” in the years just before the war: Alberto Ziveri (1908/90), Fausto Pirandello (1899/1975), Renato Guttuso (1911/87), the young Renzo Vespignani (1924/2001)


Pericle Fazzini (1913/87), Mirko (Mirko Basaldella) (1910/69), Leoncillo Leonardi (1915/68) and Luigi Bartolini (1892/1963) master of engraving

Casina delle Civette

Mansion of the Owls

1916/19 Vincenzo Fasolo (1885/1969) who transformed the preexisting SWISS HUT 1840 by Giuseppe Jappelli (1783/1852)

It was the residence of the extravagant prince Don Giovanni Torlonia (1873/1938) who lived here alone

Museum of Liberty Style Stained Glass Windows

The windows were all installed between 1908 and 1930 and are unique in the international art scene

They were all produced by the laboratory of Cesare Picchiarini (1871/1943) from designs by Duilio Cambellotti (1876/1960), Umberto Bottazzi (1865/1932), Vittorio Grassi (1878/1958) and Paolo Paschetto (1885/1963)

The stained glass windows were restored and some reconstructed from original models by the company Vetrate d’Arte Giuliani

Casino dei Principi

Mansion of the Princes

1835/40 G.B. Caretti (1803/after 1850) who rebuilt a previous building which had already been modified by Giuseppe Valadier

It is used for temporary exhibitions

On the ground floor ARCHIVE OF ROMAN SCHOOL

Other facilities at the villa (currently in restoration)

Greenhouse, Moorish Tower, Tournaments Course all by Giuseppe Jappelli (1783/1852)

"He showed that effective spectacular taste which enabled him to make a garden, albeit small in size, look big. Jappelli therefore anticipated that trend towards stylistic contamination that was typical of the century; and on the other hand he also anticipated that attention to new construction techniques and new materials which would soon spark controversy" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)


Decorated in 1844 with no less than about 4,000 m² (1 acre) of frescoes in purist style by Costantino Brumidi  (1805/80)

Brumidi later went to Washington and painted in the Capitol for 25 years


Quintiliano Raimondi (1794/1848)



Via Calandrelli 25

The original smaller area of the villa was owned by the Abbey of Sts. Clement and Pancras and later was sold to the Mignanelli family

It was donated in 1654 to the Cardinal Antonio Barberini who commissioned the construction of the CASINO (tha main building)

It was bought in 1710 by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, who transformed into a farm still mantaining it, however, with great finesse

In 1749 it was bought by Cornelia Costanza Barberini wife of Giulio Sciarra Colonna who later gave to the villa the current name

In 1811 the villa was enlarged incorporating the adjacent Crescenzi Garden for Maffeo Sciarra

In 1886 a large part of the villa was divided in allotments for the construction of residential buildings for Maffeo II Barberini Colonna II who had the remaining part of the villa rearranged by Giulio De Angelis (1850/1906)

In 1902 it was bought by the American diplomat George Wurts who had the main building rebuilt and decorated the villa with statues from the Visconti Castle in Brignano in Lombardy and would eventually leave the villa as a donation to the Italian state after his death, provided that it would be transformed into a public park

On the death of George Wurts in 1928, his wife Henrietta Tower Hurts actually donated it to the Italian State but it was opened as a public park only in 1931 following the passage of jurisdiction from the Italian government to the City of Rome in 1930

"George Wurts not surprisingly chose the villa on the Janiculum Hill as a place of delights, an alternative to his townhouse Palazzo Antici Mattei, following a habit, common to many English, Central European or American families, to choose the Janiculum Hill as a place to live (interesting continuity with the foreign ethnic groups which inhabited Trastevere and this very area since the ancient Roman times), a custom made topical by the possession of Villa Farnese-Aurelia by the American Clara Jessup Heyland, now the headquarters of the American Academy" (Carla Benocci - Verdi Delizie: le ville, i giardini, i parchi storici del Comune di Roma)

In 1906 it was discovered, in the slope towards Via Dandolo, the so-called Syriac Sanctuary during the works for the construction of a building in medieval style known as CASTELLETTO (Small Castle) intended to house the staff of the villa

1908 new ENTRANCE with pillars on Via Calandrelli by Pio Piacentini (1846/1928)

The building was renovated in 1932 by Alberto Calza Bini (1881/1957) and Mario De Renzi (1897/1967) to become the ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI STUDI GERMANICI (Italian Institute of German Studies)


Piazza del Gesù/Piazza d'Ara Coeli/Piazza Campitelli

Park with central building where the censors performed various tasks, among which the census of the Roman people, that was held every five years, and the recruitment of citizens

There are no traces left

It was originally located east of Capitoline Hill, south of the Saepta Julia, north of the Circus Flaminius and west of the Crypta Balbi

After the fire of Campus Martius of the year 80 AD maybe it was rebuilt by Domitian (81/96) more towards south-west, in the area where the Jewish Quarter is now

Maybe it was here that Caesar offered a huge feast after his triumph of 46 BC as reported by Plutarch:

An incredible dinner party: 22,000 triclinia for nine people each were set, with a participation therefore of 198,000 people, a number of people very close to the number of those entitled to the free distributions of grain, the frumentationes



Via di Villa Giulia

Second half of the sixteenth century for Cardinal Pier Donato Cesi

It was bought in 1781 by Prince Stanislaus Poniatowski who had both the building and garden modernized by Giuseppe Valadier (1762/1839)

It was bought in 1992 by the Italian state and, after a long restoration work, in nine rooms there are now finally objects of the Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia from the Umbria region and Latium Vetus, the old Lazio region


1570/80 maybe by Jacopo Barozzi detto Vignola (1507/13)



Via di S. Filippo Martire 6 - Parioli

Eighteenth century, formerly part of Villa Ada

Formerly Villa della Sacra Famiglia (Holy Family Villa) and later Villa S. Filippo (Villa of St. Philip)

It was restored in the years 1925/30 and took the name of Villa Polissena to be the residence of PRINCESS MAFALDA OF SAVOY, second daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele III, and wife of Philip of Hesse Kassel who designed the garden

Here Mafalda of Savoy was arrested by the Nazis on September 1943 and deported to the concentration camp of Buchenwald, where she died


Via Nomentana/Vicolo della Fontana

1585 for Cardinal Mariano Pierbenedetti

1722 refurbished and restored for Cardinal Giulio Alberoni

It was bought in 1890 by Senator Roberto Paganini

In 1934 it was bought by the City of Rome, which used the Casino Nobile (the main bulding) as a school and commissioned the restoration of the park to Raffaele De Vico (1881/1969)

It is popularly called Villa Mussolini of the Poor, being in front of Villa Torlonia, the private residence of the Italian dictator


Bronze statue "Winged Victory on Running Horse" 1925 by Arnaldo Zocchi (1851/1922)


Via Trionfale 151

1835 for Giacomo Benvenuti

1873/74 restored for the Società di Monte Mario (Company of Monte Mario) that had environmental purposes

The villa was named after Count Luigi Miani, director of the Società Anonima Ville Panoramiche (Anonimous Company of Panoramic Villas), who had bought it in 1939

In the main floor there is a collection of Flemish tapestries

It is famous for the sumptuous feasts that still frequently take place here


Viale del Parco Mellini 84

About 1471/84 for Mario Mellini after whom maybe Monte Mario was named

It is one of the few surviving fifteenth-century villas in Rome

When in 1788 the Mellini family extinguished with the death of Giulia (last heir of the family), who had married Mario Falconieri, the villa became property of the Falconieri family and it was renamed VILLA FALCONIERI

A second monumental entrance portal on Via Trionfale was added as well as a neo-Gothic building, known as CASALE FALCONIERI

In 1935 the villa was turned into the ASTRONOMICAL AND METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATORY with the ASTRONOMICAL AND COPERNICAL MUSEUM which had been founded in 1873 in the Collegio Romano (Roman College) with Copernican memorabilia and with donations including that of Pietro Tacchini

Here are preserved ancient sextants, telescopes, sundials, compasses, Arab astrolabes of the twelfth and thirteenth century and one of the largest collection of globes in the world


There are more than 20,000 books



Viale della Trinità de' Monti 1

1564/75 Giovanni Lippi aka Nanni di Baccio Bigio (about 1513/68) and his son Annibale Lippi (active in Rome in the second half of the sixteenth century) for Cardinal Giovanni Ricci from Montepulciano

In 1576 it was bought by Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici who kept in here his collection of ancient statues and expanded the right wing

The villa later belonged to the Lorena family and at the end of the eighteenth century passed to the French Government


Maybe by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1511/92) with some "Fillers and festoons from the Ara Pacis Augustae" and "Reliefs from the Ara Pietatis Augustae" later reused in the Arcus Novus by Diocletian (284/305)

Since 1804, by the will of Napoleon Bonaparte, it is home of the ACADEMY OF FRANCE established by King Louis XIV in 1666 as the Roman school for the specialization of young French artists


More than 25,000 books about art, architecture and music


Decorated by Jacopo Zucchi (about 1542/96)


"Oriental figures" by Émile Jean Horace Vernet (1789/1863) one of the greatest French painters of the nineteenth century

On the opposite side of the avenue FOUNTAIN OF THE BALL CANNON

1587 by Annibale Lippi (active in Rome in the second half of the sixteenth century) for Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici

The story goes that the sphere of white marble in the center of the circular granite cup was shot from Castel Sant'Angelo on the door of Villa Medici at the order of Queen Cristina of Sweden to wake up one of his admirers, the French poet Charles Errand


Via Po 2

1908/10 masterpiece by Giulio Magni (1859/1930) grandson of Giuseppe Valadier

During World War II the villa was occupied by the SS

After the war it was used as a dormitory by the nuns who served in the clinic for the eyes that used to be active opposite the villa

It was restored in the second half of the seventies as a hotel with rooms all provided with kitchens


Via Ludovisi 48

1903/05 Otto Maraini (1863/1944), Swiss architect from the Republic and Canton of Ticino, brother of Emilio Maraini, industrialist from Lugano known for having introduced with great success in Italy the production of sugar from beet

The house was donated in 1946 by the widow of Maraini, Carolina Maraini Sommaruga, to the Swiss Confederation

It is the headquarters of the Swiss Institute in Rome (ISR), private foundation created by the Swiss Confederation in 1947 with the task of promoting scientific exchange and artistic between Switzerland and Italy

It stands on an artificial hill formed by debris from the excavation works of the Villa Ludovisi and it is topped by a Belvedere Tower

The area was part of the destroyed Villa Ludovisi

The building goes back to the tradition of Roman villas. The decorations consist of originals and copies of ancient sculptures, as well as fragments of sculptures and other artifacts found here


Fresco by Giovanni Capranesi (1852/1921) who painted with Domenico De Angelis in South America in the opera houses of Manaus and Belem in Brazil and in the Cathedral of Buenos Aires in Argentina


Specializing in classical humanities. There are about 30,000 volumes and about 10,000 magazines


It was originally built for the employees

It was renovated in the years 2001/05 by Michael Burckhardt, keeping the original façades that look onto Via Liguria and onto the garden of the convent of St. Isidore



Via di Villa Madama

Begun in 1518 by Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) (1483/1520) for Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, cousin of Leo X (1513/21), later pope himself with the name of Clement VII (1523/34)

Continued after Raphael's death and left unfinished by Antonio Cordini aka Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1483/1546) and Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano (1499/1546)

Restored in 1913 by Pio Piacentini (1846/1928)

It takes its name from Madama Margherita of Austria who used it as her country residence during the time she lived in Rome from 1538 until 1550

She married Alessandro de' Medici and, after he had died, she married Ottavio Farnese nephew of Paul III (1534/49)

The villa was property of the Farnese family until 1731, when it passed to the Bourbons of Naples

Since 1937 it is a public building and it is at the disposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

"The ideals of aristocratic life and hedonistic society of the time inspired to Raphael the reference to the Villa Laurentiana described by Pliny. From this Raphael derived ideas for the spa areas, the circular central courtyard, the hippodrome and especially the agreement between architecture and nature. As the Farnesina but in a grander and more consistent program that used the entire slope of the hill, he located the palace in a splendid natural setting: connecting the building to the landscape with terraces, fences, yards, lakes and architectures made out of trees, he takes in the composition the element of nature and exploits it in a scenic way" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)


Three round arches overlooking the Italian garden

Stuccos in the loggia by Giovanni Ricamatore aka Giovanni da Udine (1487/1564) and paintings "Ovid's Metamorphoses" by Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano


White stuccos dated 1525 and signed by Giovanni da Udine


Beautifully decorated by Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano

In the frieze "Exotic animals" including turkey and puma from newly discovered America

The floors are all over made out of terracotta and multi-colored ancient marble

ITALIAN GARDEN, in front of the loggia:

"Elephant Fountain"

Designed by Giovanni da Udine. It commemorates the Indian elephant Hanno, brought to Rome by the Ambassador of Portugal on the occasion of the consecration of Leo X Medici (1513/21)

At the sides of the entrance "Giants made out of stucco" by Bartolomeo Bandinelli aka Baccio Bandinelli (1488/1560)



Passeggiata del Gianicolo 10

1518/27 Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano (1499/1546) for Baldassarre Turini from Tuscany, a friend of Raphael and important official of the court of the Medici popes, Leo X (1513/21) and Clement VII (1523/34)

It was built on ancient ruins possibly belonging to the villa of Martial

It belonged to the Lante family, to the Borghese family and to Demetrio Helbig who sold it to the Finnish state

Since 1950 is the Finnish Embassy to the Holy See and the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae, the Finnish center of archaeological research in Italy

Reliefs by Antonio Canova (1757/1822)

Two rooms painted by Vincenzo Tamagni (about 1492/1530)

"Allegory of Rome" 1628 by Jean Valentin aka Valentin de Boulogne (about 1591/1632)


Stuccos maybe by Giovanni Ricamatore aka Giovanni da Udine (1487/1564)