Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola

Experience Description

Discover the Majestic Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola: A Journey Through Renaissance Splendor and Culinary Delights

Experience the grandeur and beauty of the Italian Renaissance with an exclusive day trip to Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola, one of Europe’s most significant late Renaissance monuments.

This event offers a unique opportunity to delve into the rich history, exquisite art, and culinary treasures of the Lazio region, all while enjoying the stunning landscapes that surround this architectural masterpiece.

Nestled in the charming town of Caprarola, Palazzo Farnese stands as a testament to the opulence and vision of the Farnese family. Initially conceived as a fortress, the project was commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese the Elder and designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in 1530. The original plan featured a pentagonal stronghold with angular bastions, reflecting the defensive needs of noble residences during the 15th and 16th centuries. However, after Sangallo’s death in 1546, the project came to a halt.

In 1547, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese the Younger revived his grandfather’s vision, entrusting the completion to the renowned architect Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola. By 1559, construction resumed, transforming the fortress into a grand Renaissance palace. Vignola’s innovative design retained the pentagonal layout but repurposed the bastions into expansive terraces, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. The centerpiece of the residence is a magnificent circular courtyard, designed with two levels, creating a harmonious blend of architectural elegance and natural beauty.

Vignola’s brilliance extended beyond the palace itself; he sculpted the hill with staircases to isolate the structure while integrating it seamlessly with the landscape. He also opened a straight road through the village below, visually connecting the palace with the town and highlighting its dominant position. Under his meticulous supervision, the Palazzo Farnese was nearly complete by his death in 1573.

Inside the luxurious Palazzo Farnese, some of the era’s most distinguished painters and architects brought its interiors to life. The frescoes, inspired by the literary scholar Annibal Caro, were initially crafted by Taddeo Zuccari and later completed by his brother Federico Zuccari, Onofrio Panvinio, and Fulvio Orsini after Taddeo’s death in 1566. The carefully planned layout of the rooms reflects a modern and precise scheme:

  • The summer quarters are located in the north-east, where the sun’s rays do not reach, ensuring cool interiors.
  • The winter quarters are situated in the south-west, benefitting from ample sunlight for warmth.
  • The servants’ areas were ingeniously carved from the thick walls, separate from the cardinal’s quarters, and included kitchens and storage rooms.

One of the unique features is the “Scala del Cartoccio or Scala Regia”, a helical staircase equipped with a guide carved into the handrail. This allowed messages encased in a paper cartridge filled with sand or pebbles to be swiftly sent to lower floors. The palace also boasts two secret gardens and an additional woodland retreat adorned with fountains, historically serving as the summer residence of Italy’s President Luigi Einaudi.

Beyond its historical and architectural significance, Caprarola is also celebrated for its rich agricultural heritage, particularly its renowned hazelnuts. The fertile soil and favorable climate of this region make it ideal for hazelnut cultivation, contributing to Caprarola’s reputation as the “town of hazelnuts.” These prized nuts are a key ingredient in many local delicacies and have garnered a reputation for their exceptional quality.

One of the most beloved products of Caprarola is its exquisite hazelnut cream, a velvety spread that perfectly captures the rich, nutty flavor of locally grown hazelnuts. This delectable cream is a staple in the town’s cuisine and a must-try for visitors. Whether enjoyed on a slice of fresh bread, as a filling for pastries, or simply by the spoonful, Caprarola’s hazelnut cream is a true gastronomic delight.

Following your exploration of the Palazzo Farnese, indulge in a sumptuous lunch that showcases the rich culinary heritage of Caprarola and the Tuscia region. The meal, hosted in a historic building that once served as a castle and later the Palazzo dei Riario, includes:

  • Typical local appetizers
  • A delightful first course
  • A flavorful second course with a side dish
  • A delectable dessert featuring the famous hazelnut cream

This dining experience promises to be a feast for the senses, celebrating the diverse flavors and culinary traditions that define this beautiful part of Italy.

Possible Program of the Event

  • Early Morning Departure from Rome
  • Arrival at Caprarola: Enjoy a leisurely walk to the town center and time for a coffee or a snack.
  • Visit to Palazzo Farnese: Explore the stunning architecture and beautiful gardens of this Renaissance masterpiece.
  • Full Lunch: Savor the many flavors of the local and Tuscia culinary tradition in a historic setting.
  • Town Walk: Stroll through Caprarola for some souvenir shopping, including the famous hazelnut products.
  • Departure Back to Rome

Join us for an unforgettable journey through history, art, and gastronomy at the Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola. Secure your place today and prepare to be enchanted by the splendors of the Renaissance and the delights of Italian culture.

Experience Details
  • Starting time:


  • Duration:

    10 hours

  • Meeting point:


  • Maximum number of participants:


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