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Bomarzo

Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Lazio  /  Province of Viterbo  /  Bomarzo
(4/5 based on 2,200+ reviews for 4 attractions)
Things to do: parks, sightseeing, historic sites
Bomarzo is a town and comune of the province of Viterbo (Lazio, central Italy), in the lower valley of the Tiber. It is located 14.5km east-northeast of Viterbo and 68km north-northwest of Rome.HistoryIts current name is a derivation of Polymartium, first mentioned in the Historia Langobardorum by Paulus Diaconus. The etymology "polis martium", city of Mars, suggests a Roman origin. However, archeological evidence for a Roman city has not been found so far.It was a historical fiefdom of the Orsini family, whose castle is at the edge of the densely built town, until it was sold to Ippolito Lante Montefeltro della Rovere in 1645. Lante was elevated to the title of Duke of Bomarzo.Park of the MonstersBomarzo's main attraction is a garden, usually referred to as the Bosco Sacro (Sacred grove) or, locally, Bosco dei Mostri ("Monsters' Grove"), named after the many larger-than-life sculptures, some sculpted in the bedrock, which populate this predominantly barren landscape.It is the work of Pier Francesco Orsini, called Vicino (1528 - 1588), a condottiero or mercenary and a patron of the arts. He was greatly devoted to his wife Giulia Farnese, daughter of Galeazzo Farnese, Duke of Latera, (not to be confused with Giulia Farnese) and when she died, he created the gardens. The design has been attributed to Pirro Ligorio, a well known architect and antiquarian of the time.
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