The Italian Almanac

villa medici

Italian News - June 24

Rome is celebrating the restoration of one of its former glories - the gardens created by Ferdinand de Medici in the 16th century, including a miniature Mount Parnassus, named after the mythical home of the Muses. For the last 200 years the Villa Medici, whose gardens are among the best preserved examples of formal Renaissance gardens, has been home to the Academy of France. Its pines have been famous, and the views across Rome matchless.

Among its attractions is the 20-metre-high artificial mound known as Parnassus but the passage of time has made access difficult and, according to the Villa's director Richard Pedruzzi, major restoration work had been required. The pavilion on Parnassus, the stairways, the slopes and the paths that ring it have been renovated, while the "Bosco" or wood which Ferdinand used as a garden and for hunting has been cleaned up and restored to its former splendour.

The next development is to be the restoration of the hydraulic system and the 16th century fountains.