This unusual example of an extra-urban Renaissance villa is located along via di Porta San Sebastiano, near the junction between the Appian Way and via Latina. The area on which the delightful Casina del Cardinal Bessarione stands is rich in testimonies of the republican and imperial age.
At the beginning of the 14th century, the site hosted a small hospital, then as a monastery, and, finally, in the mid-19th century, it became a country inn.
The use of pre-existing constructions dating back to the Middle Ages, which had incorporated Roman structures, gave the Casina its current appearance. The expansion works date back to the second half of the 15th century when the Casina was transformed into a summer residence by the titular Cardinal of Tusculum, Cardinal Bessarione, who stayed here when he wanted to get away from his townhome in Piazza dei Santi Apostoli.
The façade has two imposing Guelph cross windows and a loggia on the first floor, which undoubtedly represents the most characteristic element of this ancient residence. The beautiful loggia is decorated with Roman columns surmounted by alternating Doric and Ionic capitals. Inside, the two large halls are decorated with frescoes and furnished with Renaissance-style works.
On the ground floor of the Casina is a mosaic floor with black and white tiles dating back to the first half of the 2nd century AD.
Some restorations have brought the interior decoration and the pretty Italian garden back to their ancient splendor.
Admission allowed only to guided groups.
Only on Saturday and Sunday.
Closed: from Monday to Friday, January 1, May 1, December 25.
Max 15 people per group
Phone Booking required: tel. 0039 060608 (daily from 9.00 to 19.00)
To find out about all accessibility services, visit the Rome accessible section.