"Villa Wolkonsky - British Ambassador'S Residence" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 11th July 2011
This villa takes name from the its owner Zenaida Wolkonskaja, who lived in Rome in 1829-1862 and organized international cultural meetings in Palazzo Poli at Trevi Fountain. The interior layout of the Villa Wolkonsky has changed little since the 1930s and provides a wonderful setting for receiving the Residence’s many guests. A recent tree and plant census listed around 200 different species.
The Villa Wolkonsky grounds cover 11 acres on the Esquiline Hill in the south-east part of Rome, just within the Aurelian walls, and provide one of the few green spaces in a very built-up part of the city. The nearest landmark is the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.
The name given to the complex was that of the Russian Volkonski family but it is Zenaide, wife of Prince Volkonski, who retired there after the death of Tsar Alexander I. The princess converted to Catholicism and made the villa a meeting place for artists and writers.
The dominant feature on the estate is an impressive Roman ruin: 36 bays of the Neronian spur off the aqueduct built by the Emperor Claudius in 52 AD which brought water from Subiaco, some 50 miles away to the east. Roman tombs have also been excavated on the site. The best preserved one was built by the freeborn son of an Imperial freedman called Tiberius Claudius and has a facade of fine 1st Century AD brickwork.
One of the major events celebrated at the Villa Wolkonsky is the annual celebration of the Queen's Birthday Party, which is the British National Day. The remains of the Princess's garden provide a green oasis of hedged lawns, rose beds, huge magnolia and umbrella pine trees and more. The grounds of the estate are often rented out to appropriate academic or commercial organizations for private events.
The villa was arranged by Zenaida with the use of 16th century constructions leaned on a long series of beautiful arches of the Nero's Aqueduct which passed through the garden and decorating it with the statues and marbles. At present the villa is a official residence of British ambassador of the Embassy of Great Britain to Italy since 1947.
Villa Wolkonsky - British Ambassador'S Residence
Via Ludovico di Savoia, 23 (Piazza di Villa Wolkonsky)
00185, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Esquilino (San Giovanni - Termini - Colle Oppio - San Lorenzo) (Roma centro)
Villa Wolkonsky - British Ambassador'S Residence is Shown By "Map L Zone" As "6"
Switchboard: (39) 06 4220 0001 or 4220 + extn if known
Phone: (39) 06 4220 0001