Il Villino Volterra in Ariccia
Villino Volterra, built between 1904 and 1907 is located in Ariccia, in the Castelli Romani, between Via Appia and Via Vito Volterra and includes a main building, two annexes and a lush garden.
Since 2016 the complex has been declared of cultural interest by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism and with the following motivation: "The villa is historically important as evidence of a modus vivendi of the Roman bourgeoisie that identified, in the immediate surroundings of Rome, places of summer residence thus going to constitute real neighborhoods of cottages; presents an architectural apparatus of undoubted quality, due to one of the most known and respected architects at the beginning of the '900, Giulio Magni, also welcoming an example of the pictorial decoration typical of the era; boasts a garden full of many botanical varieties and adorned with around one hundred and fifty archaeological fragments. Thanks to the high socio-cultural status of its owner, it became a meeting place, a place of study and an exchange of experiences for the international scientific world, becoming the most prestigious Archaeological residence after the Palazzi Chigi and Primoli ".
The main building consists of three floors, large halls with high ceilings and rooms with large windows. There is also a greenhouse with adjoining room and a smaller building that once housed the caretaker.
The property is immersed in a beautiful park, in the style of the 'Italian garden' full of secular tall trees with scattered here and there remains of archaeological finds.
The main feature of this garden at the turn of the century is to appear much wider than it is in reality, thanks to the perspective created by the trees, the masking of the borders and a system of pedestrian paths that cleverly unfolds in the property. And above all to the fact that the garden is divided into many other gardens, different but absolutely complementary to each other, which amplify the concept of space. For example, from the driveway entrance there are already three possible paths: the pedestrian path, framed by a pergola of white roses, which runs along the border ends at the lawn in front of the villa, the driveway, flanked by the mountain, which leads directly to the villa, and finally the staircase that climbs directly to the mountain. And once you have crossed one of these paths, you are once again in a position to choose among other successive paths - whose initial route can be glimpsed, but not the goal - which give the opportunity to discover so slowly, through the passage from the garden in the garden, the entire composition of the park. In addition to the lawn in front of the villa - from which you can admire the façade and the loggia that dominates the building - and the mountain, you can identify other portions of the garden or gardens from which the park is composed: the collection of palms through a staircase leads to a panoramic terrace, the shaded area of the acidophils that grow at the foot of the great cedar, the sunny area of the rose bushes and aromatic plants.
In the 2014 the owners have created the Giardino Villino Volterra App (free download for both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, in the Italian or English version), which allows the visitor to know the identity and the main botanical features of the present plants.
The history of Villino Volterra
The villa Volterra was built in the early years of the '900 for the mathematician Vito Volterra and the family has kept the property uninterrupted until today, maintaining the characteristic physiognomy of the country houses for summer residence of the families of the upper Roman bourgeoisie. It was designed by the architect Giulio Magni. There are still the original designs, the executive design and the exchange of letters between the client, Vito Volterra, the architect and the company. The project involved extremely modern and comfortable solutions for the time, a choice of high quality materials. The restoration of the buildings was carried out between the 2006 and the 2012. A comparison between the original project and the current state reveals that both the villa and the park have not undergone substantial changes.
The park of the villa has a remarkable and evident historical value, because it represents a typical and now rare example of a private garden of the early twentieth century. In fact, the parks dating back to this period are particularly precious, because they bear witness to that intermediate phase, passing through the nineteenth-century gardens and the more modern ones that took shape in the following decades. A characteristic of this historical border phase is in fact the search for synthesis between geometry and romanticism, in an attempt to bring together opposites such as poetry and architecture, art and naturalness, simplicity and ingenuity, regularity and imagination, rigor and feeling. Research that at Villa Volterra finds fulfillment above all in the realization of an artificial hill, always called montagnola, on which a perfectly shaped dome-shaped boxwood has been constituted: along the paths that run through it are a few fragments of archaeological finds.
The garden, after a long period of neglect, has been restored from the 2003 by the landscape designer Elena Alleva, who currently guides the maintenance with the gardener. Every year the restoration proceeds and the garden takes shape again. It does not renew itself, but evolves, reorders, opens to the light, filters the air. And so the signs of the past appear even more evident: the many bulbs scattered in the garden, the survivors of the succulent plant collection, the ancient roses, the centenary camellia, the iris of unobtainable variety and the graceful small flowering hydrangeas.
On the history of the Villino the volume "Il Villino Volterra di Ariccia" can be found, edited by R. Veneziani and V. Volterra - Palombi Editore, 2011.
Services: events location at the Castelli Romani
The Villa and the park are available for the construction of feasts e ceremonies, seminars, exhibitions, tastings, fashion shows, film productions, photographic services, stays of scholars and others cultural activities.
On the first floor there are 3 communicating rooms where you can set up lunches, dinners (maximum seating 60 people seated at the table) or other events, such as concerts, conferences, meetings, presentations (maximum 30 people)
For short stays are available 4 double rooms with private bathroom in the main building and an apartment located in a small building inside the garden, consisting of 3 bathroom and kitchen rooms. At the garden level there is a large, professional, equipped kitchen. On request it is possible to organize events such as: lunches, dinners and catering up to a maximum of 100 people. The kitchen space is also available for courses and cooking classes up to a maximum of 12 participants.
You can suggest different catering solutions.
Inside the garden is the Serra area, consisting of two rooms, a dressing room and a bathroom. It is available for different types of activities and events, such as: exhibitions, tastings, seminars, parties for children up to a maximum of 50 people. It is also equipped for organizing yoga sessions up to a maximum of 12 people.
The garden can be visited every first Friday of the month. From 10 to 15 in autumn and winter, from 10 to 18 in spring and summer. Ticket: 5 euro per person. On other days or times by appointment only (minimum 10 people).