VILLA MERGÈ ‘PALAZZETTO’
In 1925, Baron Mario Mergè transformed the family's 17th-century estate in Frascati into a thriving agricultural company, exclusively extracting extra virgin olive oil from centuries-old olive trees. Today, his son Massimo, supported by grandson Patrizio Mario, has executed a harmonious generational transition that maintains a healthy respect for tradition and a strong attachment to the land, by continuing the production of extra virgin olive oil while adopting a forward-looking approach, dedicated to preserving the integrity of the soil, its biodiversity and the quality of the product. Recently, the family has also added the production of jams from the estate's orchard, as well as honey. In addition, every year a limited production of extra virgin olive oil is bottled exclusively using the approximately 200 trees which are as old as those of the villa. Since 2019, the entire estate has been undergoing its conversion across to organic farming.
THE HISTORY OF VILLA MERGÈ ‘PALAZZETTO’
Villa Mergè "Palazzetto" is located in the eastern part of Frascati, not far from the Portale delle Armi, on the edge of the Borghese properties. This proximity has led many historians to believe, based on undocumented legends passed down verbally, that the Palazzetto was also part of the estates of Cardinal Camillo Borghese, the future Paul V, who later decided to donate it as an act of gratitude to his protégé Vittorio Merolli, when he was still governor of Jesi. Another theory meanwhile suggests that it was Merolli himself who commissioned the Villa. Both hypotheses lack any supporting documentation, and there is therefore no concrete evidence connecting either the Borghese family or Merolli to the Palazzetto. Recent studies, however, definitively refute any connection with either the Borghese or the Merolli families and identify Domenico Menti, the treasurer of the Duke of Bracciano, as the actual commissioner of the residence.
In 1634, Menti had a new "domum" built on the estate in the Tuscolo countryside, on the remains of the villa that the Gens Annea once owned in Tusculum. The architectural design was entrusted to Francesco Peparelli. The property then passed to Luigi Gomez, a wealthy Portuguese banker, and subsequently to his Portuguese brother-in-law Gabriele Fonseca. In 1818, it became the property of the Dandini de Sylva family, followed by the Mastrofini family, and finally it came into the possession of the Mergè family, who were originally from Auvergne and who still own the property today.
The Palazzetto served as a summer residence for Roman nobility, who sought refuge in the nearby countryside to escape the summer heat and unhealthy air that made Rome uninhabitable during those warmer months. The building reflects the simplified features of the early Tuscolan villas, before the eighteenth-century additions and alterations, and remains, along with the ‘Casino Pescatori’, one of only two existing examples of the authentic layout of Tuscolan villas. Both the upper floors of the Palazzetto are decorated with painted cycles attributed to Agostino Tassi and his workshop.
All products are organic and come exclusively from the estate's centuries-old plants. They represent the very best of the territory's traditions.
The Mergè family continues to run this agricultural company while fully respecting all the natural rhythms of the land.