The Magnificient Interiors of Villa Torlonia

July 10, 2008 / Art & Archaeology
From its imperial beginnings, Rome has never been the pole-bearer of self restraint. Villa Torlonia is no exception – it is a truly magnificent example of neo-Classical architecture, commissioned by Giovanni Torlonia to display his newly acquired banking wealth and power as immodestly as possible.

The villa is enhanced by a series of themed rooms, each one representing a particular style ranging from Gothic to Egyptian, bringing the art of trompe l’oeil to eccentric levels. Of particular note is princess Teresa’s bathroom, beautifully done in the “grotesque” style reminiscent of Nero’s Domus Aurea, as well as the “Etruscan tomb”, exact in every detail, used for Torlonia’s secret masonic gatherings.

The perfection with which the main villa and gardens (note coming soon!) have been brought back to life makes Villa Torlonia a must-see today. Just don’t expect any traditional bankers’ understatement whatsoever . . . Giovanni was most successful with his immodesty!

Lisa Finnerty

by Lisa Finnerty

Founder of Secret Gardens Italy,, a tour company of the grand and historic Italian gardens, and, a social network for gardeners.

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