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In the province of Viterbo, in the hearth of Lazio's " Tuscia" there is the Sacro Bosco Sacred Grove of Bomarzobetter known as Park of the Monsters : a real hidden treasure to be discovered! Inside this grove you will be catapulted into an imaginary worldpopulated with mythological animals and huge stone monsters, which since over years ago instill fear, surprise and wonder into every visitor.
If you want to know more about this grotesque and surreal garden of wondersfollow us! Ogre - Picture by aurelio candidoCreative Commons. Over the years, many academics, artists and intellectuals have wondered which were actually the intentions of Prince Orsini and the hidden meanings scattered accross the park.
In fact, its attractions are loaded ith simbolysmwith continuous references and reminders to mythology and the world of fantasy. Here, visitors are lead through a route made with big statues, surreal buildings, inscriptions and riddles, continuously surprising or disorienting them. Very likely, the intention was actually to create some kind of initiation journeywhere it were possible, as the Prince put it, "to give bent to one's heart"but at the same time, to stun the eyes of the guests.
A reign of dreamswhere the visitors' intelligence and culture could be stimulated, thanks to a continuous gmae of mythological references and riddlesamong statues of mermaids, sea monsters, giant turtles, satyrs, sphinxs, dragons, masks, false sepulchres and illusion games. Beyond whichever reasons Prince Orsini actually had, truth is that the whole complex is a great celebration of love addressed to his wife Giulia Farnese. In fact, the Tempietto Little Templelocated over a small hill surrounded by a green space where you can stop to take a break and have a picnic, is devoted to her.
After the Prince died, his heirs abandoned the park.
It wasn't until years later that the Bettini family recovered the park with restoration works, thanks to which we can admire it today. That is why, inside the Temple, there is also a memorial stone to Tina Severi Bettini. The surrealist painter was so struck by his visit to the park that he found inspiration for one of his paintings: The Temptation of St. Once you cross the entry threshold and go beyond the two sphinxsone of the first great works that you will find is the colossal head of a sea monter: it is Proteus-Glaucusthe fisherman who became a sea god after eating a magical herb.
Up ahead, you will find in front of you a scene representing a fight between giants : it is the statue of Hercules and Cacus. Hercules, the legendary heroe, is butchering Cacus, son of god Vulcan, with his bare hands. And we are just at the beginning! There are so many works contained inside the park. After buying your ticket, you will be handled a map where well 36 points of interest are marked.
Our tip is to follow it to the letter, so as not to miss any of the wonders. Among the most suggestive and important pieces that you will find here, are certainly the sculpted groups of the Turtle and the Winged Pegasusas well as the Elephant and the statue of god Neptune. But the eccentricities don't finish here! Continuing your route you will find a very particular building: the Leaning Housea dwelling built on top of a sloping rock which can be visited thanks to a small bridge connecting it to the outer wall.
Get in but pay attention You will certainly be floored by this sensory experience! In the surroundings, there are also the statue of the Dragon attacked by a dog and a lion, the Giant, the Wizard and the disquieting Ogre with his mouth wide open. Inside of it, there is a table complete with some chairs.
Over the mouth of the Ogre, a writing says "Abandon all thought, ye who enter here" encouraging you to leave your rational beliefs to re your more instinctive and authentic side with the aim to find yourself again. Isn't this maybe the meaning of the message that Prince Orsini wanted to transmit to his guests? Continuing further, you will find a delimited space with Decorative Pine Cones and Acorns and with two Heraldry bears in the back: the one on the left carries the family coat of arms and the one on the right, the Roman rose.
On the oppostie side, there is the group of Echidna, the Lions and the Furythat is, two mythical figures, half women half snake, with two lions in-between. The attractions of this wonderful park of wonders don't end here. We leave the rest to you to discover it in person. We hope, at least, we have made you want to visit it. We are sure you will leave a gret experience in this magic gardenonly in the world.
If you have children, we totally recommend to take them with you It is better to reach it by car, taking the highway "del Sole" A1. Arriving from South, you just need to exit at Orte. Arriving from North, instead, take as reference exit Attigliano. In both cases, to reach the park you will only have to follow the local directions. Hidden treasures Old Towns Archaeological sites.
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The big statue of the Dragon bitten by a lion and a dog.
One of the two sphinxs placed at the entrance to the gardens. Statue of Winged Pegasus. The big group of the Elephant with the tower, the guide and the legionary. Statue of Echidna. Take a look, the most amazing pictures here:. Park of the Monsters of Bomarzo: the most amazing pictures 12 photos Go to gallery. Useful information Sacro Bosco of Bomarzo. E-mail: press. For timetables, refer to the official site. For further details and to know more about offers for school groups refer the official site.
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