PARK OF MONSTERS OR SACRED WOOD of BOMARZO
Under the little town of Bomarzo*, a charming valley scattered with huge volcanic rocks has been natural setting for the most particular Garden that History of Garden architecutre has ever known. What you’ll see there are gigantic statues carved into the „peperino” rock, enormous pagan deities, vases as big as elephants, incredible leaning constructions, exotic animals, horrible grotesque masks with open jauws inviting you to enter their mouth, talking statues, false ruines, sphinxes and dragons. They would appeare inexpectedly in he middle of wild foliage, amazing and astonishing you. The woodland gardens of Sacro Bosco was conceived and commissioned by Pier Franceso Orsini (aka duque Vicino Orsini 1545-1585) who called it „little wood”. He shaped it according to Late Renaissance’s mannerist culture and style „… lover of giants, monsters, scenic inventions that prelude to Baroque, with its will to try to be everything, to dissimulate itself into thousands of formes, looking like a plant, an animal, West and East and astonishing itself by masks and disguises*. Orsini who was both of refined culture and lover of mysteries, added his imagination and episods of life to the way of artistic expression of his time.The Park of the Monsters imitates an enchanted wood or an obscure forest that is perfect place for spiritual journey but it is above all a garden of admirable workarts, messengers of symbols. On Sacro Bosco’s top there is a Temple which was erected by Vicino in memory of his soon dead wife. You are invited to go through this wood and to orient following Pier Francesco Orsini’s indications hidden by him in the sculptures and the structures that are accompanied by inscriptions too. May be it will happen to you to have a feeling of disorientation in this microcosm that is Sacred wood of Vicino who wanted to subvert rules of Renaissance expression, so that the world you will see there is shown trough deformation of perspective, where proportions are disproportionated, out of scale. His world is a theatrical one that you will discover amusing, you will find out enigmas, you will get some irresistible feelings entering the Leaning house or the Ogre’s mouth, you will explore an itinerary wich is artistic, cultural and spiritual at the same time.
*Guido Piovene:Travel in Italy.
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