Villa Torlonia, Rome
This is a huge beautiful property in my usual area of Nomentano , you hve plenty of buses and metro bologna and st agnese/annibilaino on the line conca d'oro to get here.
Located on the via Nomentana, Villa Torlonia was built from 1806 to the banker Giovanni Torlonia, who ordered the execution to the architect Giuseppe Valadier. It drew an impressive villa in neoclassical style surrounded by an English garden. It was completed by his son Alessandro Torlonia, who established the gardens in the southern part, including built in the area of la Capanna Svizzera the Casina delle Civette (1840) on the plans of Giuseppe Jappelli and built two obelisks (an Egyptian and a modern) in honour of his parents in 1842.
In 1920 it was leased for a symbolic read to the Torlonia Family by Benito Mussolini, who made it his residence of State until 1945. He had built a shelter against aerial bombings, which allowed to discover any Hebrew cemetery in the 3rd century with many arcosoli in the sous-tenantes catacombs. After the war, the villa was left abandoned until the restructuring plan begun in 1978. The villa was acquired by the municipality of Rome, which turned it into a public park and its buildings into museums.
The buildings are
The Casino Nobile or Casino , imposing building of villa Torlonia
The Casina delle Civette (built in 1840 restored entirely from 1992 to 1997 after a fire in 1991), which houses a Museum of stained glass
The Casino dei Principi which houses temporary exhibitions. The theater shows wonderful plays .
The Temple of Saturn, style hellénisant with its columns and its triangular pediment representing Saturn
The Ruderi Falsi
The fountains Gallery
a wonderful oasis in off tourist track Rome.
We visited Villa Torlonia simply because it was near our first hotel and we were glad we did. The main house was once inhabited by the wealthy Torlonia family hense the villa's name. During the war the villa was rented by Mussolini.
The most interesting site on the grounds of the villa is the Casina Della Civette or Owl House. The nobleman who owned the villa moved out from the main villa when Mussolini moved in. He occupied a building known then as the Swiss Cottage, but he embellished it with several motiffs which earned it the name owl house. The house has lovely stain glass windows depicting owls, swans and irises. The rail of the bridge has lovely carvings of snails. There are ceramic owls on the outside of the house and a beautiful snake carving up a corner of the outer walls. We only looked at the outside of the building, but it was wonderful as we walked round we noticed more and more detail.
The estate the villa is set on is quiet and non-touristy. It has several follies. The only other people around were locals out for a jog or stroll. Entry to the grounds is free. There is a charge to go in the buildings which are now museums. Lovely and peaceful.
Begun by Giuseppe Valadier in 1802, this was the home of Mussolini in the twenties. It became a part of the public park system in 1978. It deteriorated extensively due to vandalism.
In the second half of the XVIIIth century Giovanni Raimondo Torlonia, son of a French merchant, founded his bank, and became one of the wealthiest Roman families. Riches brought nobility and the need for appropriate villas and adornments. In 1802 they commissioned Luigi Valadier. Numerous structures emerged including a Swiss Chalet that was to become a medievel building and the Tempio Saturno. Numerous works of classic art, in great part scultoree, were acquired in order to furnish the Villa. One small part of these is still visible inside of the Museum of the Casino of the Principles (the main Villa structure). Painstaking restoration is underway in the interior.
When I was there today (July 26, 2006) the entire property showed the renovation and restoration efforts in progress. Now beautifully restored (May 2007) the building holds period sculpture, furnishings, and paintings as well as an anti air-gas shelter and an anti air-raid bunker!
"Limonata" is a quaint cafè found in the park, 20 meters from the Villa.
Photo 2 - In 1842 Prince Alessandro Torlonia embellished the gardens with two brand new obelisks, cut in a marble quarry near Lago Maggiore in northern Italy and brought to Rome by ship, in a sort of repetition of the transportation of the Egyptian obelisks carried by the Roman emperors.
Photo 3 - Another structure being rennovated on the grounds.
Photo 4 - Remains of the original Tempio Saturno.
Phtoo 5 - View from main Villa Torlonia toward street.
Beneath the park there are Jewish catacombs, made up of two cemeteries dating back to the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The walls are decorated with ornate Hebraic paintings and symbols.
Location: via Nomentana 70, via Siracusa, via L.Spallanzani
Villa Torlonia was built in 1806 for a banker Giovanni Torlania, but nowadays it's remember mostly as a home of Mussolini, who lived there in the 1920s.
After the IIWW the villa was abandoned and even today some its parts need to be reconstructed.
There is free guided tour organized around the house, it lasts about half an hour and it's very interesting, so just ask at the entrance.
Villa Torlonia is a bit far away from the center but it's worth your visit.
The best way to get there form the center is to take metro B and get off on Bologna stop and later walk or take bust 62.
This sight was lovely and I just continue onto another review so I can display all the photos I liked.
Hidden away southwest of Villa Borghese is the ruins of the VIlla Torlonia. The park is just off of Via Salario.