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Villa Madama, Rome

4.4
#460 of 515 in Historic Sites in Rome
Villa Madama is a prominent rural house or villa built during the Renaissance.
The villa situated half way up the slope of Monte Mario to the west of Rome, Italy, a few miles north of the Vatican, and just south of the Foro Olimpico Stadium. Even though incomplete, this villa with its loggia and segmented columned garden court and its casino with an open center and terraced gardens, was highly influential for subsequent architects of the High Renaissance.
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  • It's the driveway that leads to Villa Madama... Internally there is this green clearing 👍
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  • Villa Madama is one of the suburban villas built in the sixteenth century in Rome. It was conceived with the intention of rivaling contemporary villas like that of Chigi at the Lungara, now called Farnesina. The work for its construction begins in 1518, under Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de ' Medici), at the behest of the cousin Cardinal Giulio de ' Medici. Raffaello Sanzio is in charge of executing the project and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (Raphael's help in the shipyard of San Pietro) to take care of the execution of the works. Raphael designed a building surrounded by panoramic gardens and terraces sloping down towards the Tiber, developed around a circular courtyard of which today remains only a hemicycle. The work slowed down by the premature death of Raphael in 1520 at the age of 37 years and resumed in 1524, after the election of Julius who becomes the second pope of the Medici family with the name of Clement VII (1523. The final realization of the project, however, is compromised by the vicissitudes that the papal state lived under the papacy of Clement VII. In 1527, in fact, the sack of Rome takes place at the hands of the Lanzichenecchi of Charles V, which takes away any priority to the realization. During this tragic episode of Roman history the villa is ransacked and burned. Vasari says that the pope cried seeing her burn from her refuge at Castel Sant'Angelo. After the death of Clement VII, the villa remains the property of the Medici family. It belongs, in fact, first to Cardinal Ippolito de ' Medici, and then to Alessandro de ' Medici, Duke of Florence, who marries Margaret of Austria, the natural daughter of the emperor Charles V. At the death of Alessandro, Margherita marries Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza. At the death of Margherita the villa passed to the heirs of the Farnese family, Dukes of Parma and Piacenza, starting a slow and progressive abandonment. The villa continues its decay passing in inheritance to the king of Naples Charles de Bourbon, which leaves it to degrade with agricultural property, prerogative of the Crown, and to despoil of any artistic decoration. During the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century the villa is used as a barn, agricultural warehouse, housing troops and goes to ruin. In 1913 it is purchased by Maurice Bergès, an engineer from Toulouse in love with Rome, who instructs the restoration Marcello Piacentini. In 1925 it is bought by the American heiress Dorothy Caldwell-Taylor, Countess of Fasso who, in three years, completes the restoration project. At his death, Dorothy donated to Villa in Benito Mussolini, the head of the Italian Government of the time, who in 1941 devolves to the state. The villa had illustrious guests from Giovan Battista Guarini, who wrote here between 1583 and 1585 the "Pastor Fido", to Goethe, who stayed there between 1786 and 1787, enjoying the wonderful sunsets from the slopes of Mount Mario, exalted in his elegies. Equipped for official receptions, until the years ' 60 of the TWENTIETH century, the villa holds very fine porcelain and precious glass glasses, all with the official emblem of the state. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses Villa Madama as a representative seat to host diplomatic receptions, conferences, conventions or other institutional activities.
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