A.G.Tur. Tourist Guides Association of Viterbo and Rome and Group Leaders

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regnunib.wmf (2006 byte)      Renaissance & Gardens





BOOK A CONDUCTED TOUR IN LAND OF ETRUSCANS- Tarquinia - Palazzo Farnese a Caprarola - Civita di Bagnoregio

Palazzo Farnese

The Villa Farnese deserves a special place among the great works of art of the late Renaissance. It is the wonderful achievement of a brilliant architect who did his best to pay homage to his rich patronís liberality. In the 16th century, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese Junior, pope Paul IIIís grandson, commissioned Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola to design a wonderful villa. The rich and powerful churchman wanted to get away from the problems of city life, so he decided to make Caprarola his home. Situated on a hilltop near   Lake  Vico  , the small town served well the cardinalís purpose, as it was a quiet and safe place. The Villa is a pentagon-shaped building with a circular interior courtyard. The Palazzo had already been started on a pentagonal plan by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, an expert military engineer. Work on it was interrupted around the mid-16th century; however, the walls of the fortress had already been erected at that time. After Sangalloís death, Vignola began to work at Caprarola around the mid sixteenth century. He decided to keep the pentagonal shape intact, and designed an elegant palazzo with hundreds of rooms and a beautiful Italian garden. The villa Farnese is a five-storey building with a rock-cut cellar and several kitchens. It houses the Stanze dei Prelati with splendid frescoes, the Piani dei Cavalieri e degli Staffieri and the Piano Nobile with the cardinalís private apartments and some gorgeous public rooms. In the 16th century the Farnese family were at the top of their power, and the rich cardinal engaged some famous artists to decorate his villa. Among them were Taddeo and Federico Zuccari, two clever artists whose pictorial style recalls some excellent early Renaissance painters such as Michelangelo, Raphael and Giorgio Vasari. The frescoes of the Piano Nobile show historical episodes, legends and events taken from the Holy Scriptures. When Vignola died in 1573, work on villa was still under way. The project was carried out by some clever architects. The most famous one is Jacopo del Duca, who completed the Palazzo and designed the Palazzina del Piacere, a small lodge in a big park near the Villa. Used as a summer residence by Alessandro Farnese and his successors, the lodge has a geometric garden with some fine fountains and peperino statues.


Images of Palazzo Farnese


BOOK A CONDUCTED TOUR IN TUSCIA LAND -Viterbo - Cerveteri - Tuscania


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