Viterbo & Villa Lante

Posted by on Feb 27, 2008 in Blog | No Comments

We went to Viterbo today on our way to check out the gardens at Villa Lante. I felt like I was in a big city– there were so many shops! And cars! Turns out Viterbo’s population is about 20,000– a megalopolis compared with Calvi (pop 1,800, now 1,803 since Mystophur, Ben Venuto, and I moved into the CdP)!

We stopped into the lovely church Santa Maria Nuova. One of the oldest churches in Viterbo, this example of Romanesque architecture was built in something like 1080.

Mystophur was crushed that we didn’t get to the chiostro longobardo (lombard cloisters). They closed moments before we got there. How could they do that to us? We recovered by eating pizza.

The town is filled with lovely details like the door knocker at the top of this entry and the gate below.

Viterbo is also known for these external staircases that create little balconies (profferli).

Piazza Populare

Door to the Cathedral

Viterbo poses with The Lux

Then we continued on to Bagnaia, a smaller town just outside Viterbo. Villa Lante, attributed to Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola (there is no contemporary documentation) is, with Bomarzo, one of the most famous Italian 16th-century Mannerist gardens. Click the image below to see the the full collection of images.

Extremely formal and extremely gorgeous,
even on a grey day. At the top of the fountain below, notice two design elements that are also in the garden of our convent: the star is also above our well, and those four mounds around a central taller mound sit astride the entrance to the garden.

Related design elements in the garden of the Art Monastery.

The many fountains imply that the architect was inspired by Villa d’Este, an expansive water garden built in the mid-1500s.

Hey you stone carvers out there– we’ve got the perfect spot picked out in the garden of the Art Monastery for a stone dining table like this one– can you do one with a fountain running down the middle?

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