Villa Aurora enjoys a privileged position: it lays on 1.5 acres of land on the highest hill in Rome.
The garden and villa occupy the entire block and its elevation provides the dominant position in the Ludovisi Quadrant, with superb views of Rome.
The area is among the most sought after and luxurious in the city, and is full of prestigious offices. luxury housing, embassies, diplomatic and ministerial offices, major sites of interest (Barberini, Spagna, Tritone, Parioli, public parks, Villa Borghese) as well as many of the best 5-Star hotels.
The first important nucleus of Ludovisi Gardens was formed in 1618: Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi purchased Casino del Monte, later called the Aurora, from Cardinal Francesco Del Monte. It has been in the Boncompagni Ludovisi family from that time until today.
The Villa, in our days, is inhabited by HSH Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi, widow of HSH Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi, XII Principe di Piombino.
The Villa is spread over about 3,000 square meters on three levels, and a fourth and last floor consisting of a single room, with two balconies, inside a marvelous turret, from which you can enjoy a unique view of Rome and its monuments. The delightful and refined garden surrounds the building with its 6,000 square meters, and houses twenty-eight sculptures of from 20 A.C. to 200 D.C.
For the past four hundred and fifty years, this beautiful villa has been immortalized by poets, artists, and architects, such as Goethe, Elliot, Gogol, Henry James, Stendahl, D’Annunzio, Tchaikovsky, Hawthorne, Caravaggio, Guercino, Brill, Viola, Domenichino, Valesio, Pomarancho, Bernini, to name a few.
Today the villa still exudes the ancient splendor of when It was frescoed by Guercino, who painted his masterpiece “L’Aurora” (1621- 1623), which is magnificently displayed on the ground floor of the villa (left) and for which the villa derives its name.
It remains one of the most famous painted decors in Rome.
The Grand Palais and the Prado featured a ceiling (left) from The Landscapes Room at Villa Aurora, painted by Guercino, Brill, Viola, Domenichino and Pomarancio, at their exhibitions on 17th Century landscape art.
The curator at the Grand Palais stated that this ceiling was the finest representation of 17th Century landscape art in the world.
The Villa, consistent with the provisions of the Superintendency of Cultural Heritage, lends itself to a redefinition of the spaces that meet different needs: hospitality, residential, cultural, and others.
The immovable, wonderfully frescoed in different environments, offer the possibility of organizing receptions, dinners of high representation in a unique, refined, exciting and prestigious context, as only in a princely house is possible.
Villa Aurora, or Casino Ludovisi as it is sometimes called, is a designated Italian national treasure and was, in the 16th century, a country retreat where famous artists, musicians, scientists and literary geniuses gathered under the patronage of Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte. On any given day one could see the Cardinal walking these gardens with such diverse figures as Galileo, Cosimo Medici and Caravaggio.
The ceiling of Cardinal del Monte’s small alchemy workshop, located on the first floor of Villa Aurora, is adorned by the only mural ever done by Caravaggio, “Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto”.
Del Monte sold the Casino and its extensive grounds to Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, nephew of Pope Gregory XV, in 1621.
Ludovico Ludovisi was a patron of the arts, as well as the head of the College of Cardinals. He supported such artists as Guercino and many others.
Cardinal Ludovisi retained Andrè Le Notre, the famed architect of the gardens of Versailles, to create the historic Ludovisi Gardens. The grounds of the Ludovisi estate were described as the most beautiful in the world by Goethe, Stendahl, Henry James, Gogol and many other literary figures of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Ludovisi Gardens werebuilt on the Sallustiani gardens, where Julius Caesar had his villa. The gardens encompassed Villa Aurora and 89 acres of land surrounding the villa, all of what is today the Via Veneto and beyond. In fact, the American Embassy is the former palace of the Boncompagni Ludovisi family until the late 1800s when the property was divided into what became the center of Rome.
Today this area of Rome is called “The Ludovisi Quadrant”.
The Villa is passed on from generation to generation to each succeeding head of the Boncompagni Ludovisi family.