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  • Writer's pictureAman Mehta

A Brief History of Villa Doria Pamphilj in Rome

What is Villa Doria Pamphilj?

Villa Doria Pamphilj is a large landscaped park developed by the noble Pamphilj family in the 17th century.

Villa Doria Pamphilj

Villa Doria Pamphilj History

Developed in the 17th century as part of a luxurious countryside residence for the noble Pamphilj family, this is the largest landscaped park in the city. When Girolamo Pamphilj died in 1760, passing away with no male heirs, the family’s vast inheritance went to the descendants of Anna Pamphilj (who had married into the Genoese family of the Doria Landi), thereby giving the villa its name.

The park is popular for its tree-lined paths, fountains, garden maze, and statues scattered about its pleasant surrounds. Towards the northeast corner of the park, you'll find the Casino del Bel Respiro (or ‘House of the beautiful breath’, since it was encircled by greenery and set up on high ground). The house was constructed by the family solely to display their lavish collection of art and sculpture, since they and their guests would reside in the older Villa Vecchia (or ‘Old Villa’) nearby. The Baroque Casino del Bel Respiro, built by Alessandro Algardi, is decked with classical sculpture and beautiful stucco decorations, however the building is closed to the public and is now used by the Italian state for receptions.

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