Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola
by Connor Scott Noble
A 30 minute bus ride from Viterbo can take you to the town of Caprarola, which sits on the edge of the area’s mountains and adjacent to the beautiful crater Lake, Vico perfect for visiting in the summer. The town itself lives on a slope, buckling downwards with a view of beautiful ﬂatlands that stretch to the far-distant mountains of Tuscia. However, towering over this sloped village, is an architectural giant. Casting a great shadow across the town’s streets and rooftops, the colossal Palazzo Farnese is a sight to behold. A hexagonal palace, built atop the foundations a fortress, was the brainchild of Alessandro Farnese, a Renaissance era Cardinal who would one day hold the papacy. The palace’s interior has been retroﬁtted into a museum, where the Fresco paintings, the product of the famous Zuccari Brothers, hold center stage. Each room in the seemingly endless spiral of the palace holds wonders of renaissance era Italian art, with beautifully varied frescos lining the ceilings of each and every room. The scale of the artistry is magniﬁcent, with an acute and intricate sense of detail that allows visitors to spend hours in single rooms, with each perhaps more magniﬁcent than the last. The purpose of each room is laid out on plaques, with the variety ranging from changing rooms, to halls of justice, to secret passageways painted in the style of faraway jungles. The house is a maze of unending beauty, culminating in breathtaking gardens behind the Villa, which can be explored to a visitors leisure. While the Palazzo may be a little off the beaten track for a visitor of Tuscia, for the renascence art fanatic, it cannot be missed.