Fodor's Expert Review Villa Torlonia

Repubblica Castle/Palace/Chateau

Built for aristocrats-come-lately, the Torlonia family—the Italian Rockefellers of the 19th century—this villa became Mussolini's residence and now serves as a public park. Long neglected, the park's vegetation and buildings have recently been refurbished. The Casina Nobile, the main palace designed by the great architect Giuseppe Valadier is a grand, Neoclassical edifice, replete with a gigantic ballroom, frescoed salons, and soaring temple-like facade. While denuded of nearly all their furnishings and art treasures, some salons have important remnants of decor, including the reliefs once fashioned by the father of Italian Neoclassical sculpture, Antonio Canova. In the park, a complete contrast is offered by the Casina delle Civette (Little House of Owls), a hyper-charming example of the Liberty (Art Nouveau) style of the early 1900s: the gabled, fairy tale–like cottage-palace now displays majolica and stained-glass decorations, including windows with owl motifs—a stunning,... READ MORE

Built for aristocrats-come-lately, the Torlonia family—the Italian Rockefellers of the 19th century—this villa became Mussolini's residence and now serves as a public park. Long neglected, the park's vegetation and buildings have recently been refurbished. The Casina Nobile, the main palace designed by the great architect Giuseppe Valadier is a grand, Neoclassical edifice, replete with a gigantic ballroom, frescoed salons, and soaring temple-like facade. While denuded of nearly all their furnishings and art treasures, some salons have important remnants of decor, including the reliefs once fashioned by the father of Italian Neoclassical sculpture, Antonio Canova. In the park, a complete contrast is offered by the Casina delle Civette (Little House of Owls), a hyper-charming example of the Liberty (Art Nouveau) style of the early 1900s: the gabled, fairy tale–like cottage-palace now displays majolica and stained-glass decorations, including windows with owl motifs—a stunning, oft-overlooked find for lovers of 19th-century decorative arts. Temporary exhibits are held in the small and elegant Il Casino dei Principi (The House of Princes), designed in part by Valadier.

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Castle/Palace/Chateau Park (National/State/Provincial) Family

Quick Facts

Via Nomentana 70
Rome, Latium  00161, Italy

06-0608

www.museivillatorlonia.it

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €6 Casina delle Civette with exhibit, €9 Casino Nobile with exhibit; €11, includes both Casina delle Civette and Casino Nobile, with exhibit, Closed Mon.

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