Villa Celimontana (Previously Villa Mattei): Park, Garden, Festival, Geographic Society

"Villa Celimontana (Previously Villa Mattei): Park, Garden, Festival, Geographic Society" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 6th July 2011

Previously it was Villa dei Mattei, dukes of Giove, acquired in 1553 by Giacomo and arranged by Ciriaco Mattei. The latter created gardens and picked a collection of ancient marbles; had G.Del Duca build a house in 1581-1586 and finally obtained from the Senators of Rome a 12m high Egyptian obelisk as a present. The obelisk stood beside the Convent of Aracoeli on the Capitoline hill, where arrived from the Temple of Isis. In the 17th century the villa was enlarged and enriched by fountains, among which were some of G.L.Bernini. There was also an open-air theatre installed there.

Villa Celimontana entrance gate Villa Celimontana building
Villa Celimontana is on the Caelian Hill in Rome, best known for its gardens. Its grounds cover most of the valley between the Aventine Hill and the Caelian.

In the 18th century the villa was abandoned, the archeological collections were sold to pope Clement XIII and the fountains were moved to other different places.
Villa Celimontana (Previously Villa Mattei) Park and Garden
In 1925 it became a property of the Commune of Rome and a public park. The house of the villa was assigned to the Italian Geographic Society, which possesses the best library of maps in Italy. The gardens of today's Villa Mattei (now Villa Celimontana) are embellished with ancient statues, columns, capitals, sarcophagi and inscriptions, but very few of them belong to the original decoration of the villa.

Villa Celimontana Obelisk (Obelisco di villa Celimontana)

The obelisk is a small example given to the Mattei in 1582. Its lower part is made up of parts of several obelisks and is of unknown origin, but the top part (2.68m high) has hieroglyphics of Rameses II, derives from the Temple of the Sun at Heliopolis, and was (like those now in piazza della Minerva and via delle Terme di Diocleziano) brought to Rome in antiquity to adorn the Temple of Isis (in the area of the present via di Pie' di Marmo). In the 14th century it was placed on the steps of the Campidoglio - legend holds that the globe placed on its tip held the ashes of Augustus and that the obelisk was raised on the Campidoglio by Cola di Rienzo as a symbol of Roman liberty. It was presented to Ciriaco Mattei in 1582 by the Senate of Rome and moved to the park in 1587 as the centrepiece of the villa's theatre.
Villa Celimontana Obelisk (Obelisco di villa Celimontana). Fountain of Divinità fluviali at Villa Mattei Celimontana

Italian Geographic Society (Società Geografica Italiana) - inside Villa Celimontana

Italian Geographic Society was founded in Florence in 1867 with the aim of promoting culture and geographic knowledge, it has its seat in the 16th century Palazzetto Mattei, inside Villa Celimontana. Recently the Italian Geographical Society and the International Geographical Union have established the Home of Geography, a new centre of study to give technical help to international research and to promote collaboration among geographers.

Villa Celimontana Festival

Villa Celimontana Festival is one of the most beautiful and ancient Roman parks, "Villa Celimontana Festival" kicks off with a new and rich program of events, one of the historic summer events in Rome, now in its eighteenth edition. This year, under the artistic direction of Ilaria d’Alberti, the event features various cultural and artistic performanceswith a series of shows that combine various forms of contemporary art ranging from theatre to music, from poetry to visual arts, from dance to circus.

Villa Celimontana Jazz festival

Villa Celimontana Cultural Association (Associazione Culturale Villa Celimontana) was founded in order to better organize and implement the Rome Jazz Festival "Jazz & Image at Villa Celimontana", from which the association takes its name. The Festival was founded in 1994, but our work has begun some years earlier: with unaltro name and with more modest goals! In the 80 Giampiero Rubei has created what is now the most famous Jazz Club of Italy: the Alexanderplatz. The restaurant was established to offer 100% jazz every night. The effort was rewarded shortly after the Alexanderplatz has become an international reference point for New York, London and Paris and was the school of life for today's now-famous Italian artists abroad.

Then in 1995 came "Jazz & Image": the event has brought art, jazz and a short film contest. Currently the thirteenth edition of the Festival el'Alexanderplatz is getting ready for the summer exhibition of artists and musicians.

Estate Romana historical event now in its eighteenth edition. This year, under the artistic direction of Ilaria of Alberta, the event features various cultural and artistic-as the subtitle called "Circus", is expanding its proposal, enriching the bill with a series of shows that combine various forms of ' contemporary art ranging from theater to music, from poetry to visual arts to dance to circus art.

Practical Information:

Two Entrances
Villa Celimontana has two entrances; the main gateway is on Piazza della Navicella. A short driveway approaches the villa building, which is now the home of the Italian Geographical Society. To the left of the building are some winding pathways, a green lawn, and amazingly tree-girt views over southern Rome and the massive ruins of the Baths of Caracalla. Looking over the panoramic parapet, you can see more overgrown sections of the old landscaped gardens, beyond the boundaries of the present park. To the right of the main building is a charming sloping area planted with different types of tree, and offering plenty of both shady and sunny picnic spots. Further on there is also a small childrens' playground, with pony rides.

The second gateway to the park is on the Clivo Scauro, the old Roman road running over the Celio hill. This exit is convenient for seeing the other sights of the Celio, and for descending towards the Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus).

Address:

Villa Celimontana (Previously Villa Mattei): Park, Garden, Festival, Geographic Society
Via della Navicella (Piazza della Navicella)
00184, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Celio (Terme di Caracalla) (Roma centro)/ Rione Monti (Colosseo-S.Giovanni-S.Maria Maggiore) (Roma centro)
Villa Celimontana (Previously Villa Mattei): Park, Garden, Festival, Geographic Society is Shown By "Map K Zone" As "77"
Entrance: Free
Transport: Bus number 81 stops right outside the main entrance on Via della Navicella. To walk from the Colosseum, head up Via Claudia, with the ruins of the Temple of Claudius on your right.

Contact - Italian Geographic Society (Società Geografica Italiana)
Telephone: 0039 06 7008279
Fax: 0039 06 77079518
Website: http://www.societageografica.it/

Contact - Villa Celimontana Cultural Association (Associazione Culturale Villa Celimontana)
Via Alessandro Poerio, 112, 00152 Roma
Telephone: 06 58335781 - 06 5897807 (From 9.30 to 17.30)
Buy Ticket Via Tel.: 892 982
Buy Ticket Online: http://www.greenticket.it/
Email: book...@villacelimontanajazz.com
Website: http://www.villacelimontanajazz.com/

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