Archive for July 18th, 2018

July 18, 2018

Roma and the Villa Paganini!

Going on my usual walks in any city and why not huge nice Rome, we stumbled upon a nice park and curious as ever we took a peek. It was again another find away from the tourist hordes of Roma, and been with normal Italian families enjoying a day in the park, but not just any park.

This is Villa Paganini at official address Vicolo della Fontana 38 on the lake or Largo di Villa Paganini . It is across from Villa Torlonia ,see separate blog post on it. This is a small street off the main  Via Nomentana, and the neighborhood where we rented our apartment away from the crowded center. It is nice to walk amongst history as I like it, and something genuinely local, now that’s Italian.

A bit of history I like and such

The present little public park was arranged in the 1930’s, as what remains of the ancient Villa of the mighty Cardinal Alberoni, who bought it in 1721 and ordered built a richly decorated mansion in the middle of the park. Few traces of the original accommodation and some furnishings. is located in front of the Villa Torlonia (see previous post on it), in whose entrance is placed the monument to the fallen.

The visitors can stroll along the avenues shaded by tall pines and stand on the shores of a pond crossed by a bridge fed by the water descending from an artificial grotto rustic style. In the park there are also two monumental fountains and a historic fountain , which has been dedicated an inland route. Among the valuable plants present in the park is worth remembering an American Sequoia tree  and some yew plants and Caki.

The origins of the Villa are linked to Cardinal Mariano Pierbenedetti da Camerino, who bought the vineyard in 1585 to transform it into a prestigious residence. Of this period remains as the only testimony the marble fountain today located at the corner of Via Nomentana and Via de la Fontana. In 1722 the estate was purchased by Cardinal Giulio Alberoni who undertook important work in the arrangement of the buildings and the garden of which remains visible today only the wall fountain leaning against the small building adjacent to the Casino Nobile. The park then passed into the hands of numerous other owners who transformed the Villa and the park according to the 19C romantic taste with sinuous and irregular road paths, a rustic pond and several fountains. When in 1890 the property was bought by Senator Paganini, all the vast countryside surrounding the Casino Nobile, cultivated in the vineyard and reed beds, was gradually disappeared under the pressure of the growing building expansion, and the park was divided and fractionated in numerous cottages. In 1934 the municipality of Rome bought the complex for public use, using the Casino Nobile as a Montessori school. The Villa was opened to the public on April 21, 1934 in the presence of dictator Benito Mussolini. In 1938, on the side of Via Nomentana, was placed the monument to the fallen of WWI. In the years 1950’s, in an internal portion of the park, a series of prefabricated houses were built that house schools and service rooms.

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Some of the webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

Region of Lazio , Rome, on Villa Paganini in Italian :

More from the city of Rome and in Italian with photos and map:

There are beautiful restaurant Villa Paganini which we did not go in as we were just walking around on a two weeks vacation to Rome with the family. Here is the webpage for it  it looks tempting;

There is a great restaurant on the premises you can go in from the park :

There  is ,also, a very nice B&B lodging features prominently in all the major bookings sites, we of course had our own full apartment. However, it looks very nice for a family to be here, the area is superb.

As well as a great B&B lodging with access to the villa as well:

And I found a nice youtube video that shows very nicely this place, worth a detour ,I say. Enjoy it


There you go, another dandy in old but dandy Roma, Rome in the region of Lazio. Hope it helps.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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July 18, 2018

Roma and the Villa Torlonia!

Once in a while it is good to go off the beaten path and find new things to see and do while visiting. I went to Italy several times on a regular basis repeating the same sites . However, once with the family we decided to explore. We set out in an apartment away from tourist central Rome and went out on long walks all over.

These long walks led us to a wonderful place with no tourists but local Roman families.  Let me tell you a bit about the Villa Torlonia of Rome.

Villa Torlonia is an old villa of the Torlonia family built in the early 19C. It is located in the Nomentana district of Rome (where we stayed )  and has become in 1978 a municipal park which houses three small museums: the Museum of the villa in the Casino Nobile, the Museum of the Casina delle Civet, and the Casino dei Principi.

We went there walking from our apartment and walk we did, until we found this beautitful Villa Torlonia by chance. Located on the street , Via Nomentana, the land was owned by the Pamphilii who used it as farmland in the 17C. Purchased by the Colonna family, the land retained their agricultural vocation until their purchased  in 1797 by the Torlonia family. The Villa Torlonia was built from 1806 for the banker Giovanni Torlonia.  He ordered built an imposing villa in the neoclassical style, surrounded by an English garden. It was completed by Alessandro Torlonia, who notably arranged the gardens in the southern part, built in the area of Capanna Svizzera la Casina delle civet (1840) and built two obelisks (an Egyptian and an honor of his parents in 1842.

From 1920, it was rented for a symbolic gesture to the Torlonia family by Benito Mussolini, who made it his state residence until 1943.  In June 1944, the property was all occupied by the Allied High Command which remains there until 1947. There was  a shelter against aerial bombardment, which allowed to discover a 3C Hebrew cemetery with many acropolis in the under-holding catacombs. After the war, the villa was abandoned until the restructuring project started in 1978. The villa was acquired by the municipality of Rome which transformed it into a public park and its buildings in museums.

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These are the Casino Nobile or main casino, imposing building of Villa Torlonia. The Casina delle Civet (built in 1840, rebuilt in 1908-1916 , restored entirely from 1992 to 1997 following a fire in 1991), which houses a museum of stained glass.  The Casino dei Principi ( Princes Casino), neoclassical construction of 1840 which houses temporary exhibitions.

There is a theater (Teatro Torlonia) of the people, as a Temple of Saturn, hellénic style (1838) with its columns and triangular pediment representing Saturn , and the Moorish greenhouse as well as the false ruins ( False Ruderi), and the Fountains Gallery. The park gardens has over 13 Hectares, with several small artificial lakes. Jewish catacombs dating from the 2C/3C have been discovered in the field in 1918.

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All for a wonderful family day in antique Rome. La Dolce Vita at its best indeed. Hope it helps.

The webpages to help you plan your trip here and all worth it are

Museums of Villa Torlonia

Rome tourist office on Villa Torlonia

There you do come over its really a nice place with lots to see for the day if includes visiting the museums. The area is very residential and lots of local Roman families in the park.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!



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