The Grove of Monsters

The Grove of Monsters

Nestled in the small hill town of Bomarzo, an hour’s drive from Rome lies the mythical Grove of Monsters. One of Italy’s best kept secrets, The Grove of Monsters is a great stop when day tripping from Rome.

Built in the 1500’s by Prince Vicinio Orsini in memory of his late wife, the Grove of Monsters in a fabulous and somewhat grotesque fairyland. It is said that the Prince created the garden not only as a monument to his wife but to reflect his inner state of mind after her passing.

Some of the sculptures were cut from existing boulders on the property. Here nature and art intertwine to create a surrealistic fantasy. You will find sculptures of Hannibal’s war elephants, winged mermaid, a larger than life tortoise, a dragon and a leaning house among others. The many monstrous statues 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. Everything in the park seems to want to prove that life and love always triumph.