Side Trips from Rome Sights


Villa Aldobrandini

Villa Aldobrandini Review

Frascati was a retreat of prelates and princes, who built magnificent villas on the sun-drenched slopes overlooking the Roman plain. The most spectacular of these is the 16th-century Villa Aldobrandini, which dominates Frascati's main square from the top of its steeply sloped park.

The villa itself is not open to the public, but the garden is now a public park, and you can walk in to admire the sweeping pathways lined with stone balustrades, box hedges, and the spectacular Baroque Teatro d'Acqua, the sort of showy sculpture group with water features that was a must-have garden adornment for every 16th-century millionaire, in this case Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, Pope Clement VIII's favorite nephew. The half circle of sculptures of mythical figures that adorn the "theater" reflect the grandeur and wealth of a prince of the church who thought nothing of diverting the entire water supply of the surrounding area to make his fountains perform. These days, the fountains only play on special occasions. To get into the gardens, you have to use a side entrance, which is on the road going up the left side of the villa. You can also see another former water theater on the grounds of nearby Villa Torlonia, which is also a public park.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Via Cardinale Massaia, Frascati, 00044 | Map It
  • Phone: 06/9421434
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Garden: Mon.-Fri. 9–5, 9–6 in summer
  • Location: Frascati
Updated: 03-25-2014

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