"Parco dei Mostri or Villa of Wonders" Bomarzo by dutch_anna
Bomarzo Travel Guide: 42 reviews and 83 photos
Bomarzo, province of Viterbo, is a small town with about 1600 inhabitants. There is the old castle of the princes of Orsini, a museum and not much more. For me the most worthwhile "sight" was the park nearby. The Parco dei Mostri, Park of the Monsters, Villa of Wonders, or Il Sacro Bosco. Many names for a very curious, unusual park.
It was built by Prince Orsini in 1552, to express his love for his deceased wife, Giulia Farnese.
The architect was Pirro Ligorio, who also finished the Sint Peter in Rome, after the death of Michelangelo.
In the 16th century it was not unusual, even fashionable, to like Monsters, Nymphs, Giants. Many villa's had a "Grotto", a Cave, inside the house or in the garden. A good exemple is stil seen on Isola Bella, Lago Maggiore, in the palace.
In those Caves many shells, real or carved in stone, fountains, mythological figures, and monsters.
From the word "Grotto" comes the word "grotesque".
The park is open all year. It looks rather neglected, green moss on the stones. But somehow this "matches" with its nature.
For 300 years this park was forgotten, but from the end of the 19th century many artists and writers became interested.
The Dutch painter A.C.Willink made some very intriguing paintings from the park, and Dutch novelist Hella Haasse wrote in 1968 a beautiful essay: "de tuinen van Bomarzo" (the gardens of Bomarzo).
In 1954 it was bought by the present owner.
Very special is the "Hanging House", built on a slanting rock.
Inside you feel very uncomfortable, when you look through the windows.
Park of Wonders: Nothing is what it seems to be...
Very special is the "Hanging House", built on a slanting rock. Inside you feel very uncomfortable, when you look through... more travel advice
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