La Serpara (the sculpture garden) – Civitella d’Agliano
Drive time 5 minutes
La Serpara is a beautiful garden created by the Swiss artist Paul Wiedmer. His garden has evolved gradually over several years as a collaborative project with other artists from all over the world. The sculpture garden is open to the public by appointment. Video – vimeo.com/75145538 website – www.serpara.net
Sacro Bosco (Sacred Wood) – Bomarzo
Drive time 30 minutes
Sacro Bosco is an extraordinary mystical garden (also known as Parco dei Mostri – The Monsters’ park). It was commissioned by Pier Francesco Orsini, Duke of Bomarzo and patron of the arts in the 16th Century after the death of his wife Giulia Farnese. After years of neglect and a visit by the Spanish painter Salvador Dalí in the 1950s, the garden was beautifully restored by the Bettini family. Sacro Bosco is filled with giant statues of animal, gods and mythical creatures. There is an entrance fee and on site a little café and a restaurant. It is only a 30-minute drive from the house and only 10 minutes from Villa Lante so both can be visited comfortably on the same day. www.sacrobosco.eu
Villa Lante – Bagnaia, Viterbo
Drive time 35 minutes
Has one of Italy’s finest gardens. Its creation began in the 16th Century and has been open to the public in recent years. It is the perfect place to visit for a day or in combination with Monster’s Park which is 10 minutes away.
Farnese Palace (Villa Farnese) – Caprarola
Drive time 1 hour
Just south of Viterbo is the immense pentagonal building constructed in the 16th Century for Alessandro Farnese, the cardinal and nephew to Pope Paul III. Behind the palace is a grand garden which can be reached via two bridges. Caprarola is just east of Lake Vico and a one hour drive from The Yellow House.