30 July 2011
The Lynch family was very kind to take me to some of the nearby towns. The first we visited was Bormazo, in the province of Viterbo, in northern Lazio, Italy. The Park of the Monsters (Parco dei Mostri in Italian-language), also named Garden of Bomarzo, is a Renaissance monumental complex located in Bomarzo.
Walking through the park was like going through an ancient amusement park. The gardens were created during the 16th century. They are composed of a wooded park, located at the bottom of a valley where the castle of Orsini was erected, and populated by sculptures and small buildings divided among of the natural vegetation. During the nineteenth century and deep into the twentieth the garden became overgrown and neglected, but in the 1970s a program of restoration was implemented by the Bettini family, and today the garden, which remains private property, is a major tourist attraction. The park of Bomarzo was intended not to please, but to astonish, and like many Mannerist works of art, its symbolism is arcane : examples are a large sculpture of one of Hannibal's war elephants, which mangles a Roman legionary, or the statue of Ceres lounging on the bare ground, with a vase of verdure perched on her head.
And this was my subject matter for that afternoon.
A fun surprise was a reclining woman with a dog. I thought it looked striking similar to me and Lily.
And last but not least, I loved the smaller town of Bagnaia. You need to drive through this quaint village on the wasy to Bormarzo, and I highly recommend taking a walk through the medieval section of town. My pronunciation of these Italian words has been atrocious... so if I refer to a town called "banana", I mean this place.