Easily accommodating four (plus two) guests, the Oratorio dell'Angelo is a four floor schemed house with a roof terrace that gives a 180° view of the valleys surrounding the city. The house is composed by a master bedroom with private bathroom (with bathtub), a living room with fireplace and long dinner table, a full equipped kitchen with a second bathroom (with shower), a loft type guest room with two single beds.
Get ready for an incredible experience in one of Bomarzo’s well kept secrets, the Oratorio dell’Angelo. This one of a kind converted late medieval oratory sets on the far northern corner of the ancient part of the city. The house, gracefully refurbished by Cristina, the owner, has remained faithful to its original edification purposes. Its unique stoup and religious emblems are still very much part of the design of the house, and all the other architectural elements remain true to the historic value of the house.
Bomarzo's main attraction is a garden, usually referred to as the Bosco Sacro (Sacred grove) or, locally, Bosco dei Mostri ('Monsters' Grove'), named after the many larger-than-life sculptures, some sculpted in the bedrock, which populate this predominantly barren landscape. The garden was created by Pier Francesco Orsini, called Vicino (1528–1588), a condottiero or mercenary and a patron of the arts, was greatly devoted to his wife Giulia Farnese, daughter of Galeazzo Farnese, Duke of Latera, and when she died, he created the gardens. The design has been attributed to Pirro Ligorio, a well known architect and antiquarian of the time. The park of Bomarzo was intended not to please, but to astonish, and like many Mannerist works of art, its symbolism is arcane; for example, one large sculpture is of one of Hannibal's war elephants, which mangles a Roman legionary, and another is a statue of Ceres lounging on the bare ground, with a vase of 'fruits of the earth' perched on her head. The many monstrous statues appear to be unconnected to any rational plan and appear to have been strewn almost randomly about the area, sol per sfogare il Core ('just to set the heart free') as one inscription on an obelisk says. The surreal nature of the Parco dei Mostri appealed to Jean Cocteau and the great surrealist Salvador Dalí, who discussed it at great length.
Thanks to its position Bomarzo is very near to some of the most beautiful cities in the area such as: Civita di Bagnoreggio, Orvieto and Viterbo. Florence is also reachable by car since the distance is only 193 (2 hours) kilometres from Bomarzo, via the A1 freeway.
The property has a wonderful, welcoming vibe to it, and we instantly felt right at home. It's spacious and comfortable, and the view from the roof terrace is breathtaking. After staying here a month, it felt just like home. The fact that the house has such a long and fascinating past made the stay all the more interesting for us. The two lowest levels of the property are largely excavated from the tufo mesa that Bomarzo sits upon; it's a beautiful, surreal experience to follow the path around the town and see that your bedroom window is just a small rectangle carved into the massive rockface above.
Matteo, Massimo and Cristina were incredibly helpful. One couldn't ask for better landlords. One evening the kitchen sink sprung a leak, and after we tried our best to fix it, we called the owners--who in turn contacted the local plumber--and the problem was swiftly resolved the next morning.
(Just an FYI to folks who have never lived in an Italian hilltown before: the hills will be steep, you won't have all the amenities of a five star hotel, and you may encounter a gecko or two... but it will be the best time of your life. Ignore the villas in the Tuscan countryside with their fancy pools and state-of-the-art kitchens. This is the real deal. You will get to know your neighbors; you will be immersed in Italy as it lives and breathes. This is Italy far off the tourist path... here you become an active participant in the culture, instead of just an observer on the fringes. So brush up on your Italian and prepare for the experience of a lifetime.)
Bomarzo is a town of the province of Viterbo (Lazio, central Italy), in the lower valley of the Tiber. It is located 14.5 km ENE of Viterbo and 68 km NNW of Rome.