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Villa Farnese, Caprarola

4.7
#1 of 7 in Things to do in Caprarola
Architectural Building · Historic Site
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Explore a palace known for its fresco decorated walls and lush garden when you see Villa Farnese. Walk through the oval atrium, rooms, halls, and stairways of the palace, al fresco painted from the walls to the ceilings. Wander through the world map room, displaying the world as people knew it in the 16th century. Admire statues, fountains, and terraces leading up to the palace of pleasure, or stroll through the garden outside. Note that you can only visit at certain times, and will be chaperoned through the interior and gardens by a monitor. Using our world travel planner, Caprarola attractions like Villa Farnese can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Villa Farnese reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,653 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • I can’t say much for the villa… we did go through it, it was a beautiful renaissance villa. But also the 10th on our trip. The reason for our visit was the gardens and they did not disappoint. These.....  more
    I can’t say much for the villa… we did go through it, it was a beautiful renaissance villa. But also the 10th on our trip. The reason for our visit was the gardens and they did not disappoint. These.....  more »
  • A beautiful renaissance palace, quite well maintained. Nice frescos, unique circular courtyard. A big garden with fountains(not working nowadays). 
    A beautiful renaissance palace, quite well maintained. Nice frescos, unique circular courtyard. A big garden with fountains(not working nowadays).  more »
Google
  • We were able to park right next to the palace but were already in the overflow car park although I have no idea where everyone else was as we only saw one other couple in the almost three hours that we were there. The palace is in a superb location with quite incredible views and well outside the hustle of Rome for a busy cardinal! I had heard of Farnese but didn't know any detail - Alessandro Farnese, who had most of the work done on the palace - was made a cardinal at 14 and ended his long career as Vice Chancellor. He used his position to amass wealth on a staggering scale and his income was 1% of the entire GDP of Catholic Europe in the sixteenth century. On the plus side though he was a notable patron of the arts and sciences and an antiquarian as well as being a doting father. The palace stayed in the Farnese family from 1521 until 1731 when the Bourbons of Naples inherited it. in 1941 it was appropriated by the state and has been publicly owned since then. Entrance was €5 each, cash only of course, and we were then given free reign to explore. I'm not usually into these kinds of buildings but the art work and design of this place was stunning. Probably not surprising considering the resources but wealth and taste don't always go together. The map room was certainly my favourite, a world map and then continental maps, based on the latest scientific knowledge at the time. The design of the palace was based on a planned fortress so it was hexagonal in shape with a circular courtyard. The route through was excellent with detailed explanations in every room and we just took our time wandering through. The staircase was particularly amazing but very difficult to photograph without a tripod. After a couple of hours we exited the building into the gardens. The first part of the garden was a formal box hedge design and we didn't spend long there but the High Garden consisted of a 5-10 minute walk through beech forest before reaching another ornate building. Anywhere else this building would have been impressive on its own but here it was just a summerhouse. There was long water feature and more hedges along with lots of classical statues. As we were walking back we saw other visitors for the first time!
  • Every door you pass is a "wow" moment. Save time for visiting the building because it has so many details in architecture and paintings you could easily stay hours looking to them. There is a great organization of the tour pass, so you can have good information to visit each space. And don't miss the superior garden, it is also incredible and a great breathing zone specially in a hot summer day. Definitely it worth visiting.

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