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Villa Sciarra: rich in homeland history, Lombard statues and gushes

While all Roman villas are often very atmospheric, Villa Sciarra is undoubtedly among the most fascinating. The place where it stands alone would be enough to write an exciting historical novel. Before Roman times it housed a shrine dedicated to the goddess Furrina, linked to the cult of water.

Later, the famous “Horti di Cesare” were planted there where, according to legend, Caesar hosted Cleopatra and their son Caesarion after the conquest of Egypt.

Built in times before ancient Rome, today it is a relaxing Roman destination of excellence

The first casino was built by Monsignor Malvasia in 1575, the Barberini family bought it in the mid-1700s, then resold it and bought it back again. It then belonged to Cornelia Costanza Barberini, wife of Giulio Cesare Colonna di Sciarra, under whose ownership the villa was variously enriched.

During the Roman Republic it was greatly damaged by clashes between Garibaldi’s troops and Oudinot’s French troops. After restoration and changes of hands, the last owners, an American couple, adorned it with statues from the Palazzo Visconti in Brignano Gera D’Adda.

There are so many works of art where you can enjoy relaxing walks

Widowed, the owner donated the villa to Mussolini with the condition that it be used as a public park; a marble plaque commemorates this episode. From the aforementioned Lombard residence came the Fountain of the Satyrs in which above a large shell a putto emerges from the jaws of a snake, a Visconti symbol.

The Fountain of Diana and Endymion, on the other hand, shows a sculptural group with the goddess of hunting, the famous shepherd and their faithful dog. Other notable fountains are the Fountain of Sphinxes, in which four sphinxes represent human passions or vices, and the Fountain of Putti. We are in an environment where the care of the vegetation also becomes art; this is the case with the Exedra.

Arborea, a very scenic corner of the villa. A laurel hedge in the shape of a semicircle (exedra) in whose niches twelve sandstone statues have been placed, one for each month of the year. Just in front of these, we find boxwood hedges artistically pruned in the refined technique of topiary art; geometric pruning expressing forms different from natural ones.

So many attractions, first of all the atmosphere

An urban villa like this one gets to know it by getting lost in it. That “getting lost in Rome” that here has for scenery the manicured greenery and for excitement the continuous discovery of wonders. Like the large wrought-iron aviary, designed to welcome white herons. Or the terrace of the Casino Barberini, home of the Italian Institute of Germanic Studies, from whose turret there is a view of the city as far as the Alban Hills.

Behind the Casino rises the so-called montagnola. Truly characteristic is the wisteria kiosk located right at the top of the mound, near a small circular temple with a wrought-iron dome. Nearby at the entrance to the villa, the small villa known as “the Castelletto” is home to the Museum of Mathematics. Cultural institutions therefore also feed on such beauty.

Villa Sciarra is an oasis of peace close to the center of Rome, a place for active relaxation and a surely unforgettable visit.

With the Blog of Rome and Latium Region, Around Rome guides you to discover the territories for the pleasure of satisfying curiosity and putting culture at the service of people and businesses.

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Edited by il NETWORK | text Andrea Franchiniphoto Ezio Bocci

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