Villa Fidelia with its splendid italianate garden is located at a short distance from the historical centre of Spello, near the Roman amphitheatre and the romanesque Church of San Claudio. The ancient Roman settlement on which the villa stands was a large sanctuary area, where the Temple of Venus, the Roman Theatre and the Thermal Baths were situated. The early constructions of the Villa were raised, in the 16th century, by the Counts Acuti Urbani of San Lorenzo. In the 18th century the Villa passes to Donna Teresa Pamphili Grillo, who takes cares of transforming and expanding the residence built by the Urbani, and planting the Italian Garden. At her death, the property initially goes to the Counts Sperelli, and later, to the wealthy landowner Gregorio Piermarini, who carried out significant transformations and expansions, between 1805 and 1830. After alternated fortunes, in 1923, the Villa is acquired by the engineer Decio Costanzi, who fragmented the complex by selling the ancient portion to a missionary institution, the Suore Missionarie d’Egitto, and the remaining portion, including the Hunting Lodge, the Gardens and the annexed buildings, to the Provincia di Perugia. The most relevant aspect of the Villa is the extraordinary external arrangement originating the Vesuvian Garden at the entrance, the riding track—galoppatoio—the Italian Garden and the Park with the Cypress Grove. The Vesuvian Garden or Baroque, located near the entrance, is audaciously designed on a steep slope that leads to the Service Lodge entrance portal. Delimited, on the longer sides, by a double row of majestic Cypresses, the garden is formed by roundish terracing connected to each other by sinuous staircases, alternated with short spaces of grass and boxwood hedges, skillfully pruned and modeled into singular forms. Protagonist of the composition is the beautiful Exedra Fountain, placed in a central position with the statue of Diana, the goddess of the hunt, composition closed at the summit by the elegant Wing, hiding a cistern, adorned with niches and surmounted by a clock. Juxtaposed to this singular garden, a wide riding track with a circensian shape was built in the 20th century. The Italian Garden is older, dating back to the 18th century, and is set behind the Hunting Lodge. The garden has a rectangular shape, is narrow and more than 150 meters long. Currently it is subdivided into four main flowerbeds, double bordered with boxwood edges, each one of them subdivided in their turn into four smaller parts. The grassy parterres inside were once totally occupied with roses. A large quantity of citrus vases adorns the edges of the garden that is rich with their heady perfumes in spring. The uphill edges are tree-lined with Cypresses, the main protagonists of the composition, which also includes the beautiful Park and the thick Holm-oak grove. Queen Giovanna and King Boris of Bulgaria were hosted in Villa Fidelia during their honeymoon in 1930. Following a by now decennial tradition, Villa Fidelia hosts Theatrical performances, Concerts, Opera and Musical Events in its Park. It has been the seat of Temporary Exhibitions since 2003.
Spello Tourist Information
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