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EUROPEAN GARDEN HERITAGE NETWORK – EGHN

Villa Paolina

The main elements in the park of Villa Paolina, which covers about 10 hectares, consist of the gardens around the house, a beautiful Italian garden with annexed buildings, numerous avenues and a landscape garden with variously structured wooded areas and botanical compositions.

The main building is made up of a central unit and the two lateral wings. Bordered by hedges, the main path stretches out from the entrance exedra, broadening out into an elliptical space adorned with a fountain and cedar trees. It then continues beyond the body of the villa in four parallel rows of cypresses, stretching the entire length of property and intersecting with all the avenues leading at right angles to the edge of the park. The Italian garden is located along the second driveway at the height of the orangery (limonaia).

The Italian garden is made exclusively of rectangular box hedges and has two main paths. It is surrounded by walls decorated by a shell fountain with a central niche and two smaller side niches.

In the nineteenth century, an English landscape park was added in the north eastern part. It is still clearly recognisable thanks to the avenue of chestnut trees and other tree species.

The main elements in the park of Villa Paolina, which covers about 10 hectares, consist of the gardens around the house, a beautiful Italian garden with annexed buildings, numerous avenues and a landscape garden with variously structured wooded areas and botanical compositions.

ETHG_bl_paolina_1

Also called “del Crognolo” (corniola = dogwood) – probably due to the abundance of these wild shrubs in the surroundings – the villa was built in 1706 upon the wishes of Giovanni Battista Gualterio and currently belongs to the Province of Terni. The complex was based on an existing monastic structure of the former “Villa of the Seven Cardinals”. After the unification of Italy, the villa passed into the hands of the Marquis Viti Mariani and was named “Villa Paolina” in honour of the new owner, the Marquise Paolina Viti. , Before the Province of Terni acquired the complex in the 1980s, both the house and park had undergone a process of significant transformations since 1874, the house having been home to various families.

ETHG_bl_paolina_2

The main building is made up of a central unit and the two lateral wings. Bordered by hedges, the main path stretches out from the entrance exedra, broadening out into an elliptical space adorned with a fountain and cedar trees. It then continues beyond the body of the villa in four parallel rows of cypresses, stretching the entire length of property and intersecting with all the avenues leading at right angles to the edge of the park. The Italian garden is located along the second driveway at the height of the orangery (limonaia).

The Italian garden is made exclusively of rectangular box hedges and has two main paths. It is surrounded by walls decorated by a shell fountain with a central niche and two smaller side niches.

ETHG_bl_paolina_3

In the nineteenth century, an English landscape park was added in the north eastern part. It is still clearly recognisable thanks to the avenue of chestnut trees and other tree species.

A wide range of trees and plants can be found in the other sections of the park. These include Cedrus deodara (Himalayan cedar), Cedrus atlantica (Atlas cedar), Abies alba (Silver fir), Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (Lawson cypress), Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress), Libocedrus decurrens (California incense cedar), Pinus excels (Himalayan pine), Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese cedar), Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir), Sequoia sempervirens (Coast redwood), Arbutus unedo (Strawberry tree), Castanea sativa (Sweet chestnut), Quercus pedunculata (English oak), Commelina (dayflower), Hibiscus, Yucca and Viburnum.

Some years ago, significant alterations were made to the Italian garden and its four fountains (stucco work and ornamentation). The restoration of the orangery has created an area which can be used to host exhibitions and educational activities.

But the increasingly serious deterioration in the condition of some of the above-mentioned tree specimens has initiated further interventions to restore the park to its fullest quality. Planned works include the restoration of the park to include an area of natural forest with native species and, landscaped areas as well as areas with species of botanical interest. The avenues are to be linked to the main villa using species that were common at 18th and 19th-century villas.

Further plans include the creation of a thematic map and the use of smart technology labels (indicating species, definition and illustration of plant structure, leaf morphology, as well as scientific and common nomenclature). This will help to develop the park as an educational centre, particularly as the villa is the seat of the Institute for the Agroforestry CNR (Istituto per l’agroselvicoltura des Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche).

The park also hosts national equestrian competitions, the International Dog Show and the National Juggling Convention every year.

Located in a geomorphologically balanced position, the villa has neglected its visual relationship with the surrounding area. Both villa and park remain concealed behind a mass of trees hidden from view from the outside.

Nevertheless, the richness of the park and gardens of the villa add to the natural value of the landscape of Porano. The volcanic plateau between Orvieto and Porano is strongly characterized by alternating hills and plains with a prevalence of olive groves, caves and many remains from the Etruscan period.

Porano itself is an attractive village which retains the typical appearance of a fortified settlement, with the fortress of Castel Rubello as the outpost. Nearby Orvieto is said to be one of the nicest historical towns in Umbria.

Besucherinfo

Address:
Park Villa Paolina
Guglielmo Marconi St. Nr. 2
Porano
05010 Orvieto Municipality (Tr)
Umbria Region
Italy

Website: Fondazione Villa Fabri
Owner: Province of Terni

Entrance fees: Guided tours for groups of 1 to 4 persons 30,00 Euro plus 1,50 Euro per persons. Conditions for other groups on request. Admission is free for only a small part of the park.

Opening times: Every day from 09:00 to 18:00

Tourist information:

  • Toilet: yes
  • Parking: free parking on the ground close to the entrance area
  • Map of the garden:
  • Benches: yes
  • Accessibility: The main trails are accessible for people with reduced mobility, but with some uneven surfaces.