What to see in Caprarola, itinerary including a visit to the medieval village and Palazzo Farnese, with the frescoes in its rooms, including the Sala del Mappamondo, and the remarkable gardens that surround it.
Caprarola is a characteristic town in the province of Viterbo, located in a hilly area at the foot of the Cimini mountains and at about 500 meters above sea level.
The village, surrounded by lush woods, is located near Lake Vico, formed in the crater of an ancient volcano.
Dominated by the imposing bulk of the Palazzo Farnese, the village is developed on the sides of a road that climbs towards it, along which there are the houses of the ancient medieval village and the Renaissance palaces.
Caprarola's economy is mainly focused on agriculture, with particularly extensive hazelnut crops.
In the sixteenth century Caprarola was chosen by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese as a place to build a residential villa.
In 1530 the architect Antonio da Sangallo the Younger undertook the construction of Palazzo Farnese, he was responsible for the pentagonal shape and the appearance of a fortified residence.
Antonio died, the project passed into the hands of Vignola who, as a first intervention, found it useful to give a new accommodation to the town, opening an access road to the front of the building.
At Palazzo Farnese it lights up through a large double helical flight of stairs, ending with a terrace from which another staircase leads to the main entrance.
The palace is made up of five floors, including the basements, the prelates 'floor, the noble floor, the knights' floor and the staff's floor.
From the main door and passing through a drawbridge, you enter the prelates floor, consisting of an entrance hall, the circular courtyard and the Jupiter room.Recommended readings
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Through the royal staircase, characterized by a helical shape and entirely frescoed, you enter the main floor, which includes numerous reception rooms and private apartments.
Each room takes its name from the cycles of frescoes that decorate its walls, while the private apartments are distinguished from each other according to the use that was made of them in the different seasons.
On the main floor there is the cardinal's bedroom, called the Aurora Room, and the celebrity room, called the Farnesian Room of Fasti, decorated with frescoes that briefly recount the life of the Farnese.
Continuing on, you arrive at the Council Antechamber, which owes its name to the fresco of the Council of Trent, and to the Sala dei Fasti di Ercole, expertly decorated by the Zuccari Brothers with the reproduction of the mythological creation of Lake Vico.
One of the most beautiful rooms in the building is the Geographical Room, also called Sala del Mappamondo, which owes its name to the frescoes by Giovanni Antonio da Varese, depicting the world as it was described by travelers.
The Knights' floor is made up of sixty-one rooms, in the past decorated with tapestries and paintings.
The Staff Staff floor with its twenty-six rooms was used to house the servants.
The gardens surrounding the palace are a valid example of Italian gardens.
To the left of the building are the stables.