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Page revised in December 2010.
Casino del Giardino Farnese sul Monte Gianicolo (Book 10) (Day 6) (Rione Trastevere)
This is the fourth etching Giuseppe Vasi dedicated to the Farnese properties in Rome after Palazzo Farnese,
Farnesina and Orti Farnesiani; probably this attention to the Farnese was due to the fact that he was allowed to live and work in Palazzo Farnese by the King of Naples who had inherited all their properties;
the new owners however were not much interested in the small casino shown in this plate and in 1775 they sold it to the Giraud.
The casino was located very near Porta S. Pancrazio and because of its commanding view in all directions, including that beyond the walls towards Villa Corsini and Villa Doria Pamphilj, it was selected by Giuseppe Garibaldi as his headquarters during the 1849 Defence of Rome; at that time the casino was known as Villa Savorelli; French artillery reduced the casino to a pile of rubble; in 1856 it was reconstructed with some minor changes.
The casino was built by Cardinal Girolamo Farnese ca 1650; he was a member of the Castro branch of the family; the architect of the casino is not known; the property included an older building which belonged to Pope Paul III Farnese. In 1895 the casino was bought by Clara Jessup Heyland from Philadelphia who changed the name of the villa into Villa Aurelia and who bequeathed it to the American Academy of Rome (external link), to which it still belongs.
The large avenue which today links Porta S. Pancrazio with Piazzale del Gianicolo and the Monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi is embellished
by the fašade of a Renaissance house (it is just a fašade which hides a water reservoir); it once belonged
to the house near Macel de' Corvi where Michelangelo lived; the great artist preferred to live far apart from the papal court
to have greater privacy.
In a view of Book 5 Vasi showed three casinos which enjoyed a commanding view over Rome: in addition to Casino Farnese he showed Casino Riario and Villa Lanti; Casino Riario was part of Giardino Corsini and it was the site chosen by Vasi for drawing his 1765 Grand View of Rome; it was pulled down at the end of the XIXth century to make room for Piazzale del Gianicolo.
Passeggiata del Gianicolo is an avenue which was opened in 1880-84 on the top of the hill from Acqua Paola to S. Onofrio. In the redesign of the area Villa Lanti lost its gardens, but the casino is still there with its elegant loggia.
The casino was built in 1519-31 by Baldassare Turini, a member of the papal court who was a close adviser to Popes Leo X and Clement VII who both belonged to the Medici family;
according to Vasari the building was designed by Giulio Romano who painted some of its halls; similar to Villa Madama (and many Medici villas in Tuscany),
the casino was built on high ground so that it could enjoy a nice view (you may wish to see a 2008 Grand View of Rome from Villa Lanti).
A small, almost hidden, square along Passeggiata del Gianicolo houses the Monument to Ana (Anita) Maria Ribeiro da Silva, the Brazilian first wife of Giuseppe Garibaldi; after the fall of Rome she joined her husband who was attempting to reach Venice; she died of fever in Comacchio; the following is an excerpt from G. M. Trevelyan's Garibaldi's Defence of Rome:
In the second half of the XIXth century millions of Italians migrated in search of a better life; Argentina was one of the countries which received a large number of Italian migrants; they formed a community which maintained strong ties with Italy; in 1911 in conjunction with the celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of Italian Unity, that community commissioned Manfredo Manfredi a lighthouse which alternates green, white and red lights, the colours of the Italian flag; the imposing monument is very much in the style of Monumento a Re Vittorio Emanuele II, also owing to the whiteness of the stone with which it was decorated.
By looking down from Villa Lanti towards the river one can see the small bell tower which belongs to
the church of Sacro Cuore di Ges¨ which is
inside a nunnery founded in 1837 by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart (more on her by clicking here - external link). The gate of the nunnery shows the symbols of the order.
Next plate in Book 10: Casino e Villa Corsini fuori di Porta S. Pancrazio
You have completed Day 6 itinerary and your tour of Rione Trastevere! Move to Day 7 or to Rione Borgo.