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Casino di Villa Mattei sul Monte Celio (Book 10) (Map B3) (Day 1) (View C10) (Rione Campitelli)

In this page:
 The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
 Today's view
 In the garden
 Valle delle Camene

The Plate (No. 196)

Casino di Villa Mattei sul Monte Celio

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.

Small ViewSmall View

Today

The view today

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.

In the garden (1)

In the Garden

In the garden (1)In the garden (1)

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.

In the gardens

Valle delle Camene

Valle delle Camene

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.

Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:


Villa Mattei
L' ingresso principale di questa celebre delizia retta a destra della suddetta chiesa di santa Maria in Domnica, e fu eretta con magnificenza dal Duca Ciriaco Mattei circa l'anno 1572. nella nella quale sono colonne, statue, busti, e teste di sommo pregio; ed ancora un obelisco egizio drizzato in mezzo ad un delizioso prato disposto in forma degli antichi Circi, nel quale fra le altre antichitÓ, che vi sono, Ŕ notabile un'urna con le nove Muse lavorate di tutto rilievo; e fra i divertimenti, che vi si fanno, succede che nel giovedý grasso d'ogni anno con sommo applauso, e concorso fin di sei mila persone, si fa la visita delle sette chiese, e qui con canti, e suoni fanno la refezione, data loro da' Preti della Congregazione dell'Oratorio di s. Filippo Neri.

Next plate in Book 10: Orti Farnesiani sul Monte Palatino
Next step in Day 1 itinerary: Spedali di S.Giovanni in Laterano
Next step in your tour of Rione Campitelli: Chiesa di S. Gregorio al Celio

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.


All images © 1999 - 2003 by Roberto Piperno. Write to romapip@quipo.it