Villa Tuscolana Park Hotel

History

The core of the Villa dates back to 1578 built by the Cardinal Alessandro Rufini, owner of Villa Rufina (now Falconieri), where the name “Rufinella” was attributed to the construction to distinguish it from the oldest villa. At the time of the Cardinal’s, the possession of the villa was passed down to the Apostolic Chamber, which in 1580 tranfered property to the Cardinal Guido Ferreri, nephew of Carlo Borromeo and a relative of Pio IV. He then extended the villa and the land.
There many owners over the following years, like: Card. Francesco Sforza, Mario I Sforza, Count of Santa Fiora, Vincenzo de ‘Nobili, from whom Clement VIII Aldobrandini bought it in 1604 for his nephew Pietro, owner of the Belvedere villa (now Aldobrandini), which at that time was still undercontruction, to avoid another building standing above his villa.
Through subsequent steps the villa belonged to the Sacchetti family from the year 1639, for almost a century.

Some pictures of that period testify the seventeenth aspect of the villa; a simple three-story building with the mainview oriented toward Rome, as almost all Tusculum villas.
It seems there were no terraces at any of the levels, as the villas were located at a lower altitude; a large Italian garden stretched in front of the villa and along the left side at that time. In 1740 the Sacchetti family forfeited the property in favor of the Jesuits, to whom we owe the great changes that completely altered the appearance which have been maintained since that time inseventeenth-century style.

The works were entrusted to the architect of the Apostolic Chamber, Luigi Vanvitelli, clerk to Frascati goods who previously took care of the aqueduct of Vermicino. He completely changed its appearance, redesigning the building in a T-shape, with the main body which acts as a facade, from there a long arm arranged with a central corridor is extended, from where there appears to be religious cells.
Because of the transformation, the terrace behind the housewas extended also on the right side, bordered by a nymph and downstream by a base with a shell fountain.
Throughout the work numerous archaeological finds emerged, whose attribution to the villa of Marco Tullio Cicerone, called “Il Tuscolano”, changed the name of the villa to today’s “Villa Tuscolana.”

Vanvitelli was forced to intervene again on the building, because of damages due to landslides that occurred over the next several years and that the same Vanvitelli hypothesized to be due to the presence of caves.
After 1773, with the suppression of the Society of Jesus, the villawas back in the possession of the Apostolic Chamber, then was later sold to Prince Luciano Bonaparte, who devoted himself to the arrangement of the large park, planting olive trees, oaks and cypresses,and opening new avenues enriched by statues and excavated finds.

The decisive and decorative element was Mount Parnassus, which consists of a flight of stepswith boxwood hedges, made up by the names of the most famous poets, on top of which were placed the busts of Homer, Virgil, Tasso and Camoes, next to the copy of the Apollo Belvedere, designed by Pietro Marchetti,; the work was transported to the nymphaeum Villa Lancellotti during the time when the villa belonged to this family.

After the abduction of the family portrait painter and of Mons. Cuneo, when he came to visit the excavations, Bonaparte sold the property in 1820 to Maria Anna of Savoia, Duchess of Chablais.
Testimonies have been given to the passage of Austrian troops in 1821, the villa having belonged successively to Maria Cristina at the time, wife of King Carlo Felice of Sardinia and later to the King Vittorio Emanuele; in 1872 the property belonged to the Aldobrandini Lancellotti family, which enriched the park with paths that connect the two family-owned villas.
Severely damaged by World War II, beginning in 1966 the villa was completely rebuilt by the Salesians and aimed at the reception center.

With multiple interventions since 1996, in collaboration with the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, Eng. Massimiliano Meriggioni, Architects Alfonso Torino and Carlo Terzoli and thanks to the constant attention to detail of the Proprietary family, the villa rediscovers its former glory, and has been transformed into an efficient hotel conference center, venue for large events, unique, not only in the area of ​​Frascati, but also in the province of Rome, preserving its ancient charm.

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