Museums of Villa Torlonia

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The Torlonia family

The museums of Villa Torlonia tell us about the prestige of a family that, between 1700 and 1800, decided to transform an anonymous “vineyard”, on Via Nomentana, into a splendid suburban villa. Their creation was designed to astonish guests and visitors through the union of splendid architectural forms and the enchanting presence of vast green areas. Giovanni Torlonia, the first major figure in the family, entrusted the construction of the Casino dei Nobili and Casino dei Principi to Giuseppe Valadier, an artist of French origin, who was a lover of set design and decorative arts.

Casino Nobile

The guided tour will start from the Casino Nobile, the main building of the entire villa complex, we will discover rooms full of gilded stucco decoration, frescoes and oil paintings, and we will hear the echoes of laughter, music, and the scurrying of servants. We will meet the great artists who worked there, firstly Antonio Canova: master of neoclassicism. We will certainly be amazed by the
strong eclecticism of the casino, where neo-Renaissance elements are linked to Egyptian art, Greco-Roman sculpture and airy 19th century paintings.

Casina delle Civette

The tour will continue with a visit to the evocative Casina delle Civette, home of Giovanni Torlonia junior, the last leading exponent of the family, who resided there in total solitude until 1938, the year of his death. It was this solitary and peculiar man who in 1925 granted the villa to Benito Mussolini who resided here together with his family until 1943. The result of numerous renovations, the small cottage which exists today was originally a rustic chalet, imitating a Swiss mountain retreat. It was the architect Fasolo who gave the liberty aspect to the whole complex. The structure is striking for its exuberant decoration and for the careful and meticulous decorative apparatus made up of loggias, porticoed balconies, cupolas and beautiful stained glass windows where the almost
obsessive presence of the owl emerges, chosen by the cantankerous Giovanni as the emblem of his residence. The windows, installed between 1908 and 1930, play a central role in the building, increasing its charm and particularity and making the little house of the owls an especially unique one-of-a-kind in the international art scene.

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Don’t Forget

Please note that the ticket includes admission to the Casina delle Civette, Casino Nobile and any current exhibitions. The site is closed on Monday.

  • Certified Guide
  • Complete Assistance
  • Personalised Tour
  • Ticket Price: €9.50
  • Concessions: €7
  • Residents receive a discount of €1