FREE @ EMBASSY of ITALY: The RESTORATION of
ROME’s Villa BORGHESE and Villa TORLONIA Presentation
*** VERY LIMITED FREE SEATS – 1st COME-1st SERVED - RSVP HERE and RESERVE THRU THE EMBASSY of ITALY’s LINK below to be ADMITTED.
Villa BORGHESE a ROMA
The RESTORATION of Villa BORGHESE and Villa TORLONIA
Presented by: Alberta CAMPITELLI
Director of the City of Rome's Office of Historic Villas + Parks
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
EMBASSY OF ITALY – Auditorium
3000 Whitehaven St. NW | Washington, DC 20008
(Just above Dupont/Sheridan Circles @ intersection with MASS. Ave.)
DIRECTIONS: Click Embassy address @ top of this page.
DRESS: BUSINESS CASUAL / STREETS PARKING
BRING PICTURE ID
DOORS OPEN @ 6:15PM close @ 7:00 PM
This lecture will focus on Villa BORGHESE and Villa TORLONIA, two of Rome's most important villas, which have undergone major restoration in recent years. Renovation encompassed both the magnificent buildings and gardens.
Organized by: Embassy of Italy/Italian Cultural Institute & Smatch
* EMBASSY OF ITALY/ ITALIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE NOTICE *
VERY LIMITED SEATS - "FREE" EVENT
BUT ADVANCE RESERVATION(s) with the EMBASSY of ITALY
is a "MUST" WHEN ANNOUNCED/OPENED by the EMBASSY's staff
*** 1st COME, 1st SERVED ***
TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT(s) (MANDATORY) WITH THE EMBASSY >>> “CLICK HERE”
IF YOU RSVP with PIAZZA ITALIA ONLY you will NOT BE ADMITTED to this event. YOU MUST RSVP WITH “BOTH” PIAZZA ITALIA AND THE ITALIAN EMBASSY TO BE ADMITTED …
ABOUT ALBERTA CAMPITELLI
Art historian Alberta Campitelli is the Director of the City of Rome's Office of Historic Villas and Parks, and is an internationally renowned expert on safeguarding and conserving villas and gardens. She has directed the restoration of many villas in and around the city of Rome, among which particularly noteworthy are Villa Borghese and Villa Torlonia. Her volume, Villa Borghese. Da giardino del principe a parco dei romani (Villa Borghese: From a Prince’s Garden to a Park for Romans), Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato 2003, was awarded the Grinzane Cavour - Giardini Hanbury prize in 2004.
Her most recent publication Gli horti dei papi. I giardini vaticani dal Medioevo al Novecento, Jaca Book 2009, translated into English as The Vatican gardens: an architectural and horticultural history, has also been translated into French and Spanish. Alberta Campitelli is currently working on a comprehensive study of Rome’s villas and gardens.
Villa Borghese is probably the most popular BAROQUE villa in Rome. It was built by Cardinal Scipione Borghese [masked]), the powerful nephew of Pope Paul V. It is the true embodiment of the Baroque style, with a park of 80 hectares dotted with stunning buildings, beautiful fountains, antique and modern sculptures, all surrounded by gardens filled with rare and exotic plants and flowers.
For various reasons the villa and gardens fell into disrepair, and it was only in the 1990's that restoration began which returned the villa to its original splendor. In 1997 the Villa’s main building, which housed the Borghese Museum and Galleria Borghese, was re-opened to the public after being closed for 13 years for major repairs to its sinking foundation.
The Galleria Borghese houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities, begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The Galleria includes twenty rooms across two floors. The main floor is mostly devoted to classical antiquities of the 1st–3rd centuries AD while the other floor has sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Antonio Canova and paintings by the masters Raffaello, Caravaggio, Tiziano, Paolo Veronese, Giovanni Bellini, Correggio … etc.
TIZIANO (Titian) - Sacred and Profane Love (c 1514)
RAFFAELLO (Raphael) - Deposition of Christ (1507)
CARAVAGGIO - Boy with a Basket of Fruit (1593)
Antonio CANOVA - Pauline Bonaparte (Napoleon’s sister)
Soon afterwards the three so-called Baroque era secret gardens that adjoin the main building were also restored. Cardinal Scipione Borghese had them planted in the 17th Century, ordering plants and flowers from throughout the known world. several other buildings were restored and re-opened, allowing for public enjoyment of the entire property.
Villa Torlonia is newer than Villa Borghese. Giovanni Torlonia, a wealthy merchant and banker who had been granted the title of marquis, acquired this agricultural property in 1797. Wanting his home to reflect his wealth and success he built a luxurious villa, a smaller second building, stables and a surrounding park. The park had an elegant simplicity with grand paths lined with oak trees and fountains throughout. His son, Alexander, built on his father’s success and was named a prince.
The main villa was decorated with frescoes and sculptures, and its main entrance was rebuilt to include reproductions of ancient ruins to give the villa an antique look. The park was constructed with many visual diversions, including an artificial hill, a large pond and an orangerie and many potted citrus trees.
The property was rented to Mussolini and his family from 1925 to 1943 for the symbolic sum of one lira per year. He had two bunkers constructed for protection in case of aerial bombing. At the end of the WW II the property was occupied for three years by the British and American military. The villa and park deteriorated greatly during this period.
After decades of neglect the property was acquired and restored by the City of Rome, In the course of this restoration conservators discovered that the frescoes had been done by Costantino Brumidi in 1844 - the painter of the U.S. Capitol.
Villa Torlonia is resplendent today. The park has been restored, and the buildings are used as museums and art exhibits. There are also playgrounds and restaurants that encourage visitors to spend the day in a beautiful park with many diversions.