The Garden Guide

Villa Aldobrandini

The best and most famous example of the early Italian Baroque style. Instead of standing on one edge, the palace is the centerpiece of the garden layout. It is theatrically set into a wooded hill and, like the other Frascati villas, casts an eye across the Campagnia to the dome of St Peters, Rome. Every aspect of the place is aristocratic. It was designed for a 'nephew' of a Pope - this is how the church described papal children until the twentieth century. Villa Aldobrandini occupies an imposing situation with a broad terrace dominating the town of Frascati. To the rear, there is a water theatre with niches for statues and fountains. A statue of Atlas holds a globe stands in the central niche. Behind the theatre, an avenue with a central water cascade pushes upwards into the oak and chestnut woods. There are garlanded Pillars of Hercules. Work on the garden began in 1598 and was finished in 1603. The waterworks were designed by Orazio Olivieri. The Villa was badly damaged during the Second World War and then rebuilt. Many of the statues have gone and some of the fountains, which used to soak unsuspecting visitors, are no longer working.
Photograph © leosagnotti
Photograph © Stephen Harmer
Photograph © Stephen Harmer
Photograph © Stephen Harmer

Frascati, Tivoli, Lazio, Italy

All year, Daily (except Sundays and public holidays), Monday to Friday 9-1pm and 3-6pm, Closes 5pm in winter

Entrance fee applies

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