Saturday, December 14, 2013

Night time visit to Villa Lante, Bagnaia

Villa Lante by night , F. Pignatale 
Here is a sneak preview of  my newest book Etruria Storie e Segreti, with photos from two of the contributors:  Francesco Pignatale and John Ferro Sims.   Thanks to Francesco's night time photos we get a rare peek inside  one of the palazzine of the Villa  which is furnished with  antiques and  has frescoed rooms and ceilings. 

elegant interiors of Palazzina Gambara , Villa Lante 
 They were shot  during an evening visit  to  the gardens of  Villa Lante in Bagnaia, a suburb of Viterbo where the Renaissance cardinals Montalto, Gambara and Della Rovere  passed  their summer holidays. 

 Villa Lante  boasts  twin palaces,  magnificent fountains,  extensive  gardens and woodlands where once worldly  young  cardinals enjoyed gelato, doused visitors with trick fountains and  used trained dogs to hunt wild fowl  in the park. 
fountain of the 4 Moors, Villa Lante 

mossy  fountain figure at Villa Lante by English photographer John Ferro Sims  

Izumi  Otsuki Steingraber, who also contributed  to Etruria Storie e Segreti  tells  how the young  Japanese princes who  visited  here in 1575 were shocked by  this style of hunting. 

The manicured gardens of Villa Lante are  a  perfect  place for  a Sunday walk, especially in summer, even more so during one of the rare evening openings. And if you choose to visit on  a cold January day you might find  the   boxwood borders   covered with frost, like frosting on a cake.

One of the artists who worked on the villa's  frescoes was   Agostino Tassi,  the lover and husband of Artemesia Gentileschi.  Their fiery  relationship  has been preserved by judicial reports dating from 1612  and make  interesting reading even now, 400 years later. 

To find out more about Villa Lante and  Artemesia Gentileschi    check out Alexandra Lapierre’s biography Artemisa , the story of a battle for greatness.   Signed copies of Etruria Storie e Segreti can be ordered directly from my website  here.  
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  1. So interresting ! Thank you to let us know about these wonderful palaces!

  2. You are doing an excellent work. Congrats and good luck!