The origin of the villa can be traced back to the pre-existing Villa Benedetta, commissioned by Monsignor Elpidio Benedetti, a friend and advisor of the Mazarin, who had it built according to the design of Plautilla Bricci.
The villa had a peculiar shape, hence the name by which it is still known today: the Vascello. The large building had three floors plus a mezzanine and an attic. The entrance led to a building with an irregular 'T' shape, which grafted onto a service block.
The interior decoration must have been very rich at the time: on the main floor there were three galleries decorated with mirrors and trophies with black and white majolica floors and many inscriptions concerning sentences and proverbs.
Inside the main gallery adorned with a frieze, one could admire a splendid vault frescoed with "Aurora" by Pietro da Cortona, "il Mezzodì" by Allegrini and "la Notte" by G. F. Grimaldi. From a plan dated 1850 it is possible to trace the organisation of the garden that opened on the west side of the casino. Several avenues led to a pergola that ended at a beautiful circular fountain, while on the side of Via delle Fornaci were the hayloft and the stable.
On the death of Abbot Benedetti the property passed to Filippo Giuliano Mancini, Duke of Nevers, then to the Giraud family and others. In 1849 the building was the outpost for Garibaldi's troops engaged against the French army, and being at the centre of the battle, it was seriously damaged like the villas in the Gianicolo area - Corsini, Farnese and Spada. All that remains of the villa today is the peculiar boundary wall that includes a façade in naturalistic and pre-Romantic taste, covered by false caves and a small square building.
Today the Villa del Vascello is divided into two private properties.
From monday to friday from 9.00 to 13.30 and from 14.00 to 17.30
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