images in Luna Commons
Interactive Plan: Villa Mondragone
Interactive Plan: Villa Belvedere
James, “Roman Neighborhoods”
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Dates: Seventeenth century
Location: Europe -- Italy -- Lazio -- Frascati
Frascati, located in the Alban hills of Lazio, has been the site of country villas
and the culture of villegiatura since the late Roman Republic.
The area gained prominence after the election of Pope Clement VIII
in 1592 when his nephew Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini construced
his Villa Belvedere in the Roman Baroque manner on the slope of
the Alban hills. The construction of the Villa Belvedere brought
to an end the first major phase of villa construction, which had
also included the Villa Mondragone (1565) and the Villa Muti (1579).
In the second phase of villa construction, existing layouts were
enlarged, and in the third and final phase, such gardens as the Villa
Torlonia (1720) and the Villa Falconieri (1724–29) were adapted
to the current taste. Because of the steep slope into which the
villas were built, the villa and garden had to be carved into the
hillside. The resulting plateaus supported by semicircular retaining
walls lent themselves to the construction of water theaters at the
end of steep cascades, features included in many of the Frascati