Saturday, November 7, 2020


Altitude 412 m (1,351 feet). 18,000 inhabitants

Ancient Aricia, Latin city which took part in the struggles of the Latins against Rome and later became a city federated with Rome (municipio)

In the year 87 BC it was sacked by Marius and reinforced by Sulla

Its fame came from the Sanctuary of Diana Aricina or Nemorense which used to stand on the shore of Lake Nemi

In 1661 the Ariccia feud was bought by the Chigi family

Ariccia’s Bridge

1847/54 Ireneo Aleandri (1795/1885)

It was destroyed by the Germans in 1944, it was reconstructed after World War II and it collapsed in 1967

Since 1997 there are safety nets to prevent the recurrence of suicide attempts

Substructure of the Appian Way

198 x 11,56 m (650 x 38 feet)

It was built so that the road wouldn’t have been too steep dealing with the overhang of the hill

Maybe it was built at the behest of the Gracchi brothers who, according to Plutarch, restored the Via Appia

Small Republican Temple

60 m (197 feet) from the ancient Appian Way that passed through the lower part of the ancient settlement

There are remains of the walls of the cella built in large square blocks of peperino stone

“Villa of Vitellius (69 AD)”

Area of ​​about 5 hectares (12.3 acres) near Mount Gentile, northeast of the town

Structures for the most part built in reticulated work (opus reticulatum) attributed to Emperor Vitellius according to Tacitus

Remains of a nymphaeum and cisterns known as Muracce

Locanda Martorelli

Martorelli Inn

Old hotel of the Grand Tour of Italy, frequented by artists and writers from 1820 until 1880

Frescoes "Myth of Diana" by Tadeusz Kuntze aka Taddeo il Polacco (1732/93)

Piazza della Repubblica

Republic Square

1662/65 Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680)

Two symmetrical fountains

Santuario di S. Maria di Galloro

Shrine of St. Mary of Galloro

1624, expanded in 1661

FAÇADE by Gian Lorenzo Bernini


Maybe by Gian Lorenzo Bernini with "Madonna with Child" on peperino stone (well cemented tufa typical of the Lazio region) found in the woods in 1621

Above one of the altars "St. Thomas of Villanova" 1663 by Giacinto Gimignani (1606/81)


"S. Francis de Sales" by Guillaume Courtois aka il Borgognone (1628/79)

Every December 8th the Processione della Signorina (Procession of the Young Lady) takes place to commemorate the end of the plague in 1656. So-called because the procession is led by a young girl

The image of the Virgin Mary is carried in procession to the house of a citizen of Ariccia who will keep the sacred image for six months

S. Maria dell’Assunzione

St. Mary of the Assumption

1662/65 Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) for the Chigi family, consecrated in the presence of Pope Alexander VII Chigi (1655/67)

The two semicircles were originally the House of the Minister and the House of the Governor


Stucco decoration "Cherubs and Angels" holding suspended garlands, designed by Bernini, made by Pietro Paolo Naldini (1619/91)

"The simple structure depended on an attempt to create an imaginary Pantheon of the venerable republican period. Bernini believed that the old building was originally an example of heroic simplicity and grandeur. In the area of ​​the dome, with a combination of coffered ceiling and ribs, there is a realistic decoration similar to that of Castelgandolfo. What do these credible figures mean? The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and, according to legend, jubilant Angels would have scattered flowers on the day of her Assumption. As the jubilant angels, higher beings who live in an area inaccessible to the faithful, are treated with extreme realism, they evoke true life in full. So when entering the church, the pious man participates in the mystery taking place. As at Castelgandolfo, the consecration of the church results in a dramatic-historical interpretation; the whole church is subject, and dominated, by this particular event and the entire interior has become a stage" (Rudolf Wittkower)

The altarpieces were all executed in the years 1662/65


"St. Roch among the lepers" by Alessandro Mattia da Farnese (1631/?)


"Holy Trinity with St. Augustine" by Bernardino Mei (1612/76)


"St. Francis de Sales tramples heresy" by Emilio Taruffi (1633/96)

In front of the altar "Baptismal font" fourth century AD


Designed by G.B. Contini (1641/1723)

Large fresco representing with an illusionistic effect of breaching the landscape behind the church: "Assumption" about 1666 by Guillaume Courtois aka il Borgognone (1628/79)

Under the altar "Urn of the seventeenth-century" with relics of the martyr St. Deodatus


"Death of St. Thomas of Villanova" by Raffaele Vanni (1587/1673) from Siena


"Holy Family" by Ludovico Gimignani (1643/97)

1st CHAPEL ON THE LEFT "St. Anthony of Egypt" by Giacinto Gimignani (1606/81)

Palazzo Chigi

Built in the second half of the sixteenth century as a castle for the Savelli family

Renovated in the years 1664/72 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) with his pupil Carlo Fontana (1634/1714) by Alessandro VII Chigi (1655/67)

Sold by the Chigi family to the Municipality of Ariccia in 1988 and opened to the public in 1999

It is a museum and a center of many cultural activities such as exhibitions, concerts, and conferences

It preserves the original furnishings of the seventeenth century with valuable paintings

Among the films shot here "The Leopard" by Luchino Visconti in 1962 and "L’Avaro" with Alberto Sordi

Ground floor

Private apartment of the Cardinal Flavio Chigi

NINE ROOMS that preserve the original furniture of the seventeenth century and paintings from the Chigi Collection including:

"Four allegories of the senses" by Pier Francesco Mola (1612/66)

"Portrait of Clement IX Rospigliosi (1667/69)" and "Portrait of Cardinal Sigismondo Chigi" by G.B. Gaulli aka Baciccio (1639/1709)

"Pindar and Pan" by Salvator Rosa (1615/73)

Piano Nobile

Main section of the building

Twenty rooms with original furnishings of the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s and very rare LEATHER PRINTED WALLPAPER of Spanish origin of the seventeenth century that cover the entire area of ​​the floor and which constitute a unique example in the world


Tempera decorations with illusionistic landscape, alluding to an aviary, about 1857 by Annibale Angelini (1812/84)

"Chigi Vase" maybe dating back to the Hellenistic period, most probably an eclectic-classicist work of the Augustan period, found in 1780 in the area Tor Paterno Castel Porziano, restored in 1785 by Bartolomeo Cavaceppi


Furniture designed in 1670 by Carlo Fontana (1634/1714) and made by Antonio Chicari


Leather upholstery under a design patented in Amsterdam

"Four Seasons" by Mario Nuzzi aka Mario de’ Fiori (1603/73) by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713) ("Summer"), Giacinto Brandi (1621/91) ("Autumn"), Bernardino Mei (1612/76 ) ("Winter"), Filippo Lauri (1623/94) ("Spring")

Furthermore, "Portrait of Mario de’ Fiori painting" by Giovanni Maria Morandi (1622/1717)


It used to be an opera theater in the seventeenth century

In the upper part "Eight large preparatory paintings with angels" by Giuseppe Cesari aka Cavalier d'Arpino (1568/1640) for the mosaics in the ribs of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica

"Blessed Giovanni Chigi" by G.B. Gaulli aka Baciccio (1639/1709)

In the adjacent CHAPEL

Sanguine (drawing with red chalk) on the wall "St. Joseph with the Child" 1663 signed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680)


Frescoes with "Scenes of Orlando Furioso" by Giuseppe Cades (1750/99)

Among the works from the Chigi Collection:

"Terracotta bust of Alexander VII" by Melchiorre Caffà (1636/67)

"Two marble busts of Alexander VII" by Giuseppe Mazzuoli (1644/1725)

"Portrait of Cardinal Flavio I Chigi" by Jacob Ferdinand Voet (about 1639/89)

Second floor

It is divided into two sections, the second of which houses temporary exhibitions

In the first section MUSEO DEL BAROCCO (Museum of Baroque Art) with collection of 48 paintings donated by the art historian Maurizio Fagiolo as the initial core of the museum, later expanded with the Lemme Collection of 128 paintings, the Laschena Collection of 14 paintings, the Ferrari Collection and other donations

Among the masterpieces:

"Drunkenness of Noah" and "Lot and his daughters" by Giacinto Brandi (1621/91)

"Portrait of Cardinal Rinaldo d'Este" about 1659 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680)

"Portrait of Pope Innocent X Pamphilj (1644/55)" (maybe) and "Flagellation of Christ" by Pietro Berrettini aka Pietro da Cortona (1597/1669)

"Three portraits of Cardinal Francesco Albizzi" by Giovanni Maria Morandi (1622/1717)

"Adoration of the Shepherds" by Andrea Pozzo (1642/1709)

"Self-Portrait" about 1665, "Virgin Mary in Prayer" and "Fortitude and Charity" sketch for a pendentive in St. Agnes in Agone by G.B. Gaulli aka Baciccio (1639/1709)

"Taking of Christ in the Garden" about 1597 by Giuseppe Cesari aka Cavalier d'Arpino

"St. Charles Borromeo in prayer" by Andrea Commodi (1560/1638), the first master of Pietro da Cortona

"S. Lucy" by G.B. Salvi aka Sassoferrato (1609/85)

"Dream of St. Joseph" about 1653/55 by Andrea Sacchi (1599/1661)

"St. Yves lawyer of the poor" and "Peace and Justice" with a tender Sapphic touch by Ciro Ferri (1634/89)

"Venus wipes his forehead with Adonis" by Giacinto Gimignani (1606/81)

"Mary and Joseph found Jesus disputing with the doctors in the Temple" by Ludovico Gimignani (1643/97)

In the collection there are also paintings by Lazzaro Baldi (about 1624/1703), Mattia Preti (1613/99) and Domenico Fetti (1589/1623)

Among Gaulli’s pupils there are works of the two main ones:

Giovanni Odazzi (1663/1731) and Ludovico Mazzanti (1686/1775)

Carlo Maratta and his followers, popular throughout all of the eighteenth century:

Carlo Maratta (1625/1713), the founder, with "Baptism of the Centurion Cornelius" for the Basilica of St. Peter and "Self-Portrait"

There are also paintings by Giuseppe Chiari (1654/1727), Giuseppe Passeri (1654/1714) and Agostino Masucci (1691/1758)

Painting styles of the eighteenth century and evolution of Roman painting in the period between Baroque and Neoclassicism:

"Miracle of the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni" by Benedetto Luti (1666/1724)

"St. Bartholomew" by Pompeo Batoni (1708/87)

Also works by Placido Costanzi (1702/59), Marco Benefial (1684/1764), Francesco Trevisani (1656/1746), Sebastiano Conca (1680/1764), Domenico Corvi (1721/1803), Corrado Giaquinto (1703/66), Giuseppe Cades (1750/99), Pier Leone Ghezzi (1674/1755), Laurent Pécheux (1729/1821), Antonio Cavallucci (1752/95) and Francesco Manno (1752/1831)

French or Flemish artists who stayed in Rome:

Jean Lemaire, Jan Miel (1599/1663) and Jacques Stella

"Killing of Archimedes" and "Hagar and Ishmael" with the appearance of the angel by Guillaume Courtois aka Borgognone (1628/79)

"What moves us in this painting is the fusion of the characters with the landscape, the importance given to the sky and the landscape, the pre-romantic color, the touch fluid and dense at the same time and the magnificent appearance of the angel" (Arnauld Brejon de Lavergnée)

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