Villa Torlonia, the most recent of the villas belonging to Rome’s nobility, still retains a particular fascination due to the originality of its English-style garden (one of the few examples in the city), and to the unexpectedly large number of buildings and garden furniture in the grounds.
The history of the Villa
When Giovanni Torlonia inherited the title of Marchese in 1797, to confirm his
In 1796 Giovanni Torlonia purchased the Vigna Colonna, situated on the Via Nomentana, and commissioned Giuseppe Valadier to render the buildings and park more imposing.
Between 1802 and 1806 Valadier worked on the rebuilding and enlargement of the Casino Nobile, incorporating the old structure and adding to it with foreparts, porticoes and spacious terraces.
The Casina delle Civette (House of the Owls), which was the residence of Prince Giovanni Torlania the younger until his death in 1938, is the result of a series of transformations and additions to the nineteenth century “Swiss Cabin”, which, positioned at the edge of the park and hidden by an artificial hillock, was originally intended as a refuge from the formality of the main residence.
The House of the Princes took on its current neo-sixteenth century aspect, rich in internal and external decoration, following the redevelopment by Giovan Battista Caretti, between 1835 and 1840, as the wish of Alessandro Torlonia (1800-1886).
The initial nucleus of the House was a modest rural building of the Abbey vineyards, which had been present in the area for at least a century.
The exhibition aims to bring attention to the life and art of an artist who between 1910 and 1952 used different techniques such as sculpture, embossing, architectural ornament and ceramic decoration, becoming famous and popular to the point that he took part to some of the the most important Italian and foreign artistic events.