Villa Farnese

And I’m not talking about Tuesday’s gelato consumption!  It’s that old time religion that’s the subject of this post.  Yep, you got it:  Catholicism.  What’s with these guys and their need to rub our noses in their wealth and power?  I guess there isn’t much point to wealth and power unless you can rub someone’s nose it it.

Yesterday (that would be Wednesday), we took a relatively short drive.  We went back to Villa Lante to look at the garden of the good Cardinal Gambara.  Then we headed over to Caprarola to have a gander at the Villa Farnese, one of the many Farnese establishments scattered about.

This particular villa is notable as being the “original” pentagon.  It’s an imposing pentagonal building up at the top of the town looking out over the countryside.  It is fairly breathtaking from the outside but it isn’t until you walk into the internal, round, courtyard that you are blown away by all of the decorative painting.  Every surface throughout the building is frescoed, painted, sculpted or something.  It is stunning in its excessiveness.  And, of course, we get to thank another cleric for it.

The site was originally developed by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, later to become Pope Paul III.  Pope Paul III made his 14 year old grandson, also an Alessandro Farnese, a cardinal and it was this Cardinal Farnese who developed the villa in the mid to late 1500’s to the way it now appears.  I loved all the color and faces but found it difficult to understand how anyone could actually live in the place.

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