Villa Doria Pamphili (Pamphilj): Museum, Casino, Theatre, Fountains, Chapel And Garden

"Villa Doria Pamphili (Pamphilj): Museum, Casino, Theatre, Fountains, Chapel And Garden" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 18th July 2011

Pamphili house

Located on the Gianicolo (or Janiculum) Hill the park with its 180 hectares is the largest green area in the Italian capital by including in it a number of oak trees and fence to enclose this wonderful heritage. Better known under the name of Villa Doria Pamphili (Villa Doria Pamphilj) the only change made to its perimeter that was due to "cut" for the opening of the Olympic way. The villa is the biggest public park of Rome with a pinewood and meadows, statues, fountains and waterfalls. The park is ideal for jogging and long walks.

Casino del Bel Respiro at Villa Doria Pamphili (Pamphilj).jpg Chapel (Cappella) of Villa Doria Pamphili at Villa Doria Pamphili (Pamphilj).JPG
Several buildings were erected on its surface – two villas, one Casino, one theatre and one chapel – as well as the gardens, the small lake with a cascade, the pinewood and some architectonic elements such as fountains, statues and even the ruins of a necropolis that may be dated between the end of the Republican period and the Second century A.D. The importance of this site is due to its historical and naturalistic value.

In this place administrative requirements and cultural and didactic activities meet together: on the one hand, the Casino del Bel Respiro, also known as Palazzina dell’Algardi from the name of its designer, is, in fact, the representation office of the Premiership of the Italian government, on the other hand, the main structure of the Villa called Vecchia comprises the Civic Museum of Villa Doria Pamphilj, dedicated to the history of the Roman villa. It is divided into sections describing its origin in the Sixteenth century and illustrating the events that brought to the conclusion of the construction in the Eighteenth Century. Inside Palazzina Corsini there is a library used as site for changing arts exhibitions. Finally, the whole area is an important recreative and amusing place for people of all ages.

The villa is divided into three main parts: the palace and gardens called “pars urbana”, the part reserved to the fruit trees called “pars fructuaria”, and the pine farm called “pars rustica”. Dating back to Roman times as much of the city Villa Doria Pamphili with Villa Ada is one of the two green lungs of the city. Fascinating history and legends that are located inside this park is target of restoring vegetation that will put him back in again thereby completely available to the public. The oldest building of the villa built along the Via Aurelia is known as "Villa Vecchia" already existed in 1630 when the estate was bought by Panfilo Pamphilj.
Fontana or Fountains of Villa Doria Pamphilj.jpg
It is the greatest park of Rome with the perimeter of 9km. It was founded in 1630 for Pamphilius Pamphili, but the most important moment in the development and extension of it was between 1644 and 1652. Two artists from Bolonia, A.Algardi and G.F.Grimaldi, created the villa's palace, called Casino dell'Allegrezze (House of Mirth) (on the left), a beautiful and impressive construction outside, as well as inside, an example of Baroque architectural masterpiece. Now it is a residence of the Chair of Cabinet.

In the Seventeenth century, the villa became renowned even outside Italy, so that many travellers intentionally visited the place to admire its beauties and above all to celebrate the magnificence of the park. The Giardino Segreto (Secret Garden) and the Giardino del Teatro (Theatre Garden), built in the second half of the Seventeenth century and preserving nowadays only part of their original frames, were the most important attraction of the place.

Villa is decorated with numerous fountains, parks, and a lake projected by the same architects. During the siege of 1849 villa's territory was a theatre of battle.

Purchased in 19th century adjoining Villa Corsini was completely destroyed by French bombing and on the place of the "house of Four Winds" belonged to the latter, it was built a monumental arch which now serves as the main entrance to the park. On the right from the arch stand 18th century Palazzo Corsini - National Gallery of Ancient Art, used now for the art exhibitions.

The villa was bought by the Italian State in 1957 and partly by the city of Rome in 1965-71, thus it is open to public and it is a favourite place of rest and sport of Romans. The two sections of the extended villa grounds are divided by a road that runs partly in a narrow defile.
Pamphili trees pamphili lake
The most recent building, that may be dated between the end of the Eighteenth and the beginning of the Nineteenth century, is the Cappella Doria Pamphilj (Chapel) designed by the architect Collamarini in Neo-gothic - Romanesque style with mosaic decorations. It still belongs to the descendants of the family that in the Eighteenth century merged with the Genoese one of the Doria.

In 2002 the Council began the works for the improvement and arrangement of the woodland to recover the green open spaces. Inside the Villa Vecchia, is housed the Civic Museum illustrating the history of the area, an essential mean to understand and admire the whole structure following a chronological path that goes through the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth century. This Museum of Villa Doria Pamphilj (Museo di Villa Vecchia) – Old Country house keeps sculptures, paintings, engravings, drawings, archaeological findings and photographs that testimony the history of the Country-house and of the Doria Pamphilj family.

Some of the statues and décors that adorned the estate are now kept in a permanent exhibition, in order to preserve them from the weather and from acts of vandalism. Even the fountains, the busts of famous men, the statues belonging to the Bernini school, those with funeral themes and the ones representing oriental myths such as the Nile and the Sphinxes, are preserved in the museum. A magnificent garden of palm-trees and the Garden of Citron Trees, still cultivated today with fruit trees and citrus trees from which it takes its name, open in front of the greenhouses.
Villa Doria-Pamphili garden.JPG
In celebration of the Jubilee Year of 2000, a curved and arching pedestrian bridge by Massimo d'Alessandro was built to join the two sections more amenably. Since the spring of 2003 there is a "Jogging point", a structure managed by the Unione Italiana Sport per Tutti (Uisp), created in the "ex porcilaia", now restored, near the entrance of Bel Respiro, at the corner between via Vitellia and via Leone XIII. There are showers, dressing rooms, WCs and surveillance (Prices: shower € 0,70, locker rooms up to € 2 all day long). Visitors to the park can use WCs for free.

Casino del bel Respiro, also knows as Casino di Allegrezze or delle Statue, is located inside the Villa Doria Pamphily. It was built by Alessandro Algardi and GF Grimaldi in 1644-48, and has a Palladian plan with a great round hall of two floors. At the first floor is a round hall rich of ancient statues and elegant classic stuccoes. Outside is a secret garden, according to the vogue of Rome in the second half of the 16th century. Bought with the villa by the State and the city of Rome in 1967, it is now the seat of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

Also See:

Villa Doria Pamphili (Pamphilj): Museum, Casino, Theatre, Fountains, Chapel And Garden
You may reach Villa Doria Pamphili (Pamphilj) By the following way:
Via aurelia Antica, Via Leone XIII (Olimpica), Via della Nocetta, Via Vitellia, Via di Porta S. Pancrazio
Via di San Pancrazio (Via Aurelia Antica, 183)
00165, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Quartiere Aurelio (Rome West)
Villa Doria Pamphili (Pamphilj): Museum, Casino, Theatre, Fountains, Chapel And Garden is Shown By "Map I Zone" As "4"
Hours: Villa is Open from dawn to dusk. Museo di Villa Vecchia (Museum of Villa Vecchia) is accessible by appointment and in group only. Casino del bel Respiro can be visited upon booking only. Free guided tour is offered.
Booking and Guided Tour: Booking required. Info and bookings from Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 18.00 Saturday from 09.00 to 13.00 on 06 42888888. For Casino del bel Respiro, should send a fax at no. 0039 06 67794122 or by mail
Contact - Museo di Villa Vecchia - Villa Doria Pamphilj:
Telephone: 0039 06 39376616 - 67104178
Fax: +39 06 39380994

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