The Park of the Monsters, or The Sacro Bosco, is the oldest park that we’ve ever ventured into. But with a name like the Park of Monsters, you’d expect nothing less.
The Park of Monsters is a dark, forested and moss covered expanse of land. The stroll inside is actually quiet and serene, until you happen upon one of the 24 enormous stone statues.
They are designed to have a provocative and shocking effect on the viewer, and many of them deliver. Imagine meandering down a stone staircase in the woods, turning the corner, and finding these guys.
The Sacro Bosco was commissioned by Price Pier Francesco who was distraught following the death of his wife. His anguish is clearly present in the park, even after all this time.
The Park of Monsters was completed in 1552. It is the work of architect Pirro Ligorio, best known for completing St. Peter’s Cathedral following the death of Michelangelo.
The Sacro Bosco was, for along time, abandoned and forgotten. The overgrown area was rediscovered in 1954 and restored. The years of neglect have left their scars on the gigantic statues, which only adds to their gruesome character.
Is it just me, or does this one remind you a little of the Starbucks symbol? I always thought it was a little creepy. The siren is actually mythological beautiful and dangerous mermaid, who would lure sailors to a watery grave after following her sweet song into the rocks. Coffee anyone?
The Gardens of Bomarzo
After seeing images of the park on line, we were compelled to visit. Wandering through the park took about 2 hours. Photos don’t really help describe the massive statues that sometimes seem to appear out of nowhere.
The visual impact is striking. But one of the most impressive things in the park, is the sound that comes out of this ogre when you growl inside its mouth. You know you will!
If you find yourself equally compelled to visit the park, it’s actually an easy day trip from Rome. The park sits about nine miles from the city of Viterbo, which is also worth touring around during your visit. Bomarzo itself is also a small picturesque hill top town that is fun to explore.
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How to get to The Gardens of Bomarzo
You can join an organized tour to Bomarzo and leave the planning and driving to someone else.
To find Bomarzo from Rome on your own – get directions by car, bus or train by searching Road2Rio
Park of Monsters is at Localití Giardino at Bomarzo – Viterbo – Italy
It lies at 42° 29′ 22″ north latitude and 12° 14′ 53″ east longitude by our smartphone.
Instead for Google Maps it lies at 42° 48′ 95″ north latitude and 12° 24′ 82″ east longitude
The address by Google Maps:
01020 Bomarzo (Viterbo)
Via Madonna della Valle n°101
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