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Villa Lante – Viterbo

Viterbo - Villa - Lante - water
Viterbo - Villa - Lante - viewViterbo  - Villa Lante - Side viewViterbo - Villa - Lante - garden

Located in Bagnaia, near Viterbo, is the stunning Villa Lante.

Two Casini (houses) built in a severe Mannerist style form the villa; they are very similar but they were built in different periods by diverse owners.

The oldest bulding (on the right side) was commissioned by Cardinal Gianfrancesco Gambara. The design is attributed to Vignola, the great 16th century architect.

The construction started in 1566. The first Casino and garden were quickly finished but than the work was suspended until the death of Gambara.

In 1587 Cardinal Alessandro Peretti became the new Apostolic Administrator of Viterbo. He was only 17-years-old when he decided to complete the Bagnaia’s villa.

The main differences between the two casini are the frescoes: landscapes for the Gambara’s casino and more classical themes for the Peretti’s one.

Villa Lante is mainly famous for its stunning gardens. The gorgeous fountains were perfected by Tommaso Ghinucci, a hydraulic engineer from Siena. Today it is still possible to enjoy the perfect flow of the water thanks to him.

Villa Lante took its name after Ippolito Lante Montefeltro della Rovere, Duke of Bomarzo, 100 years after its construction.

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The Lante family maintained the ownership of the villa for centuries.

During the Second World War both the gardens and Casini were half destroyed by Allied Bombs.

In the late 20th century the villa was completely restored.

Today the stunning Villa Lante is included in the Grandi Giardini Italiani, the Italian garden’s association.

Santa Maria degli Angeli Basilica – Assisi

Assisi - St Maria degli Angeli
Assisi - St Maria degli Angeli - side viewAsissi - PorziuncolaAsisi - St Maria degli Angeli - fresco

The Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli is located at the foot of the hill of Assisi. It was built in the late 16th century to enclose the Porziuncola, the 9th century little church where a young St. Francis understood his vocation and started the Franciscan movement.

The Basilica was built to better accommodate the vast number of pilgrims that every year were visiting the Porziuncola. It is the seventh largest Christian church; it was designed in a Mannerist style by two famous architects Galeazzo Alessi and Vignola.

In 1832 an earthquake partly destroyed the Basilica. The reconstruction initially remodeled the façade in a neoclassical style but later it was given back to its original pre-Baroque style.

Things to see

The church houses the Cappella Del Transito where St. Francis died in 1226. The chapel is decorated with frescoes and houses the Rope of St. Francis.

The Porziuncola (Little Portion) is decorated by artist from different ages. The sober interior is in a simple gothic style with frescoes. Ilario da Viterbo painted the outstanding six-part fresco located in the apse.

Right outside the Basilica is located the Rose Garden, the last remains of the woods where St. Francis and his friars lived.