Villa Doria Pamphili

The Villa Doria Pamphili is a seventeenth century villa with what is today the largest landscaped public park in Rome and enjoyed as a place of leisure by the inhabitants of Rome.
Adjoining the Janiculum are the extensive grounds of the Villa Doria Pamphili, now traversed by the Via Olimpica, a road constructed for the 1960 Olympics. The villa was built in Rome by Alessandro Algardi about 1650 for Prince Camillo Pamphili, a nephew of Pope Innocent X. On a terrace alongside the Via Aurelia Antica is the dei Quattro Venti (country house of the four winds), which is decorated with statues and reliefs.
The nucleus of the villa property in Rome, the Villa Vecchia or ‘old villa’ , already existed before 1630, when it was bought by Pamfilio Pamfili, who had married the heiress Olimpia Maidalchini to enjoy as a suburban villa . Thereafter he set about buying up neighbouring vineyards to accumulate a much larger holding, which was often known as the Bel Respiro or ‘beautiful breath’ as it stood on high ground, above the malarial areas of Rome, and offered spectacular views which were a desirable feature of Baroque villa settings.

In 1644 Cardinal Giambattista Pamphili became elected to the papacy and took the name of Innocent X. In accordance with this change in status, the Pamphili aspired to a grander and more expansively sited new villa. the project was placed in the hands of the Bolognese sculptor, Alessandro Algardi in 1644, assisted by Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi.

The initial design had a central casino with wings but only the central block was built. There is uncertainty as to who the architectural design should be attributed to; Algardi was not an architect and it may be that he had help from Carlo Rainaldi and that the construction was supervised by Grimaldi. The layout has a central circular room around which the other rooms were arranged. Construction began in 1645 and was complete by 1647 although embellishments and the garden layouts were not finished until 1653. The casino, sometimes known as the Casino del Bel Respiro, was designed as a complement to the Pamphili collection of sculptures both ancient and modern, and other Roman antiquities such as vases, sarcophagi and inscriptions; it was only ever intended for display of the collection and the family and guests resided in the older Vecchia Vigna.


St.George Hotel – Villa Doria Pamphili:  3,9 Km (2,4 miles)

Crowne Plaza Rome – St.Peter’s Hotel – Villa Doria Pamphili :  1,2 Km (0,7 miles)

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