Villa Aldobrandini

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The façade of Villa Aldobrandini.

The Villa Aldobrandini is a villa in Frascati, Italy, still property of the Aldobrandini family, it is known as Belvedere for its charming location overlooking the valley toward the city of Rome.

Construction[edit]

Vatican prelate Alessandro Rufini built the original villa in 1550. Pope Clement VIII gave nephew Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini the villa in 1598[1] as a reward for the negotiations he undertook with France which resulted in the peace treaty of 1595 and for his role in annexing Ferrara to the Papal States.

Conversion[edit]

Aldobrandini commissioned the Roman architect Giacomo della Porta to convert the villa into suitable accommodation in which a Cardinal could live and also entertain a Pope. Worked started in 1598.[2] While the core of the villa was completed by the time of Giacomo della Porta's death in 1603, work continued for another 20 years on the various aspects of the villa and the garden under the supervision of Carlo Maderno who added the loggia[3] and Giovanni Fontana.

The villa is aligned with the cathedral down its axial avenue that is continued through the town as Viale Catone. The villa has an imposing 17th century facade and some other interesting architectural and environmental features, such as the double gallery order on the rear facade, the spiral-shaped flights, the large exedra of the Water Theatre and a magnificent park.

Art[edit]

Inside the villa are paintings of Mannerist and Baroque artists like the Zuccari brothers, Cavalier D'Arpino and Domenichino. On the grounds is a monumental gate by Carlo Francesco Bizzaccheri (early 18th century).

Water Theater[edit]

A noted feature of the garden is the Teatro delle Acqua ("Water Theater") by Carlo Maderno and Orazio Olivieri. To provide water for this feature and for the rest of the garden Aldobrandini constructed a new 8 km long aqueduct from the Modena spring on Monte Algido to the villa.[4] Other noted villas with giochi d'acqua are the Villa d'Este in Tivoli and Villa Torlonia also in Frascati.

Villa Aldobrandini - Ninfeo.


References[edit]

  1. ^ Attlee. Page 91.
  2. ^ Attlee. Page 91.
  3. ^ Attlee. Page 92.
  4. ^ Attlee. Page 92.

Further reading[edit]

  • Attlee, Helena (2006). Italian Gardens - A Cultural History (paperback). London: Frances Lincoln. pp. 240 pages. ISBN 978-0-7112-3392-8. 
  • Wells Clara Louisa - The Alban Hills, Vol. I: Frascati - 1878 publisher: Barbera, Rome, Italy - OCLC 21996251

Coordinates: 41°48′12.4″N 12°40′58.9″E / 41.803444°N 12.683028°E / 41.803444; 12.683028