Voted in 2011 as "The Most Beautiful Park in Italy", Villa Lante is located in Bagnaia, about 5 km from Viterbo. Developed over an area of about four hectares, its perspective garden is one of the most famous Renaissance gardens in Italy, renowned for the beauty of its fountains, water features and the hedge maze that welcomes visitors at the entrance.
Another beautiful Renaissance garden, although smaller than the one in Bagnaia, is the one belonging to Castello Ruspoli in Vignanello. Commissioned by Ottavia Orsini in 1610, the garden adorns the eastern side of the castle which is characterized by a square-based plan and it is ringed by a moat, spanned by a drawbridge.
Even more imposing than the castle in Vignanello, Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola is considered as Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola’s masterpiece. The fortress has a pentagonal shape, with a central, round courtyard and two secret gardens.
Another symbol of power and majesty, the imposing fortress in Civita Castellana takes its name from its designer, the famous architect Antonio Giamberti da Sangallo. Forte Sangallo is considered as one of the most important military works built by the Papal States between the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century.
The gardens of Villa Lante in fictions (Pope John Paul I: The Smile of God, 2006, by Giorgio Capitani), films (We Have a Pope, 2011, by Nanni Moretti) and television series (The Young Pope, 2016, by Paolo Sorrentino) were transformed into the Vatican Gardens. An obligatory choice, considering that it is prohibited to film inside the Vatican City.
Written by Franco Grattarola