Casino di Villa Mattei sul Monte Celio (Book 10) (Map B3) (Day 1) (View C10) (Rione Campitelli)
Villa Mattei or Villa CoeliMontana was built in 1582 by Ciriaco Mattei.
The Senate of Rome presented him with a small obelisk coming from a temple of Isis (to see all the obelisks of Rome click here). The view is taken from the west, opposite the entrance
to the Villa which is next to S. Maria in Domnica. The view is taken from the green dot in the small 1748 map here below.
In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) Main entrance to the Villa;
2) S. Maria in Domnica (or Dominica); 3) Obelisk; 4) Steps leading to the lower part of the Villa. The map shows also 5) Valle delle Camene.
1) and 2) are shown in other pages.
The view from the west is today almost impossible (left). A floor was added to the casino and the roof is now terraced. The Villa is owned by the State and the gardens are open to the public. The main entrance is next to S. Maria in Dominica, but there is another gate built in 1650 opposite SS. Giovanni e Paolo. The Villa was very large and it included a portion of the Palatine where the Mattei built a little casino.
The amphitheatre in front of the casino and most of the fountains, statues and other decorations are lost, but what is left, although subject to further damage, speaks of the past to the children who play in the gardens.
The Villa included most of the valley between the Celio and the Aventine hills. It was the site of a little spring
where the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilio used to meet the nymph Egeria and the Romans built a fountain there.
The Mattei turned the Roman walls into a little casino, which today is used as a hall for non religious weddings.
Another site named after the nymph Egeria is along Via Appia Pignatelli.
Go to or to Book 10 or to my Home Page on Baroque Rome or to my Home Page on Rome in the footsteps of an XVIIIth century traveller.