Bomarzo e il Sacro Bosco

posted Nov 9, 2011, 4:07 AM by Stefano Capoccioni
Parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo near Rome

The “Holy Wood” of Bomarzo is a very peculiar park in the neighborhood of Viterbo, built in the 16th century out of the will of Pier Francesco Orsini, prince of Bomarzo. The park is set up with dozens of odd sculptures, shaped as sea monster, giants, ogres, fountains or exotic animals, all dug in the huge volcanic outcrops present in the wood.

The park is unique in its kind. During the renaissance the nobles would rather decorate their villas with Italian gardens, designed by famous architects and perfect in their proportions and shapes. Pier Francesco Orsini, instead, had a very troubled personality and actually the park reflects, in its statues and in its structure, his extraordinary personality.

The park was so bound with him that after his death was soon forgotten since the late 20th century, when it had been “rediscovered” and, after careful restaurations, turned into an open air museum.

As you enter the park, you can realize how the atmosphere of magic and unknown is strongest than everywhere else. Walking amid those giant rocky statues you can happen upon dragons or sleeping nymphs, bears or elephants, fighting giants, turtles or evil mermaids... T

he sculptures seem to be the personification of ancient gods and evil creatures coming out from the ground, merging with the surrounding nature, being part of it.

Written by our guide Elena Ronca