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Monster Park

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Once upon a time, in the region of Lazlo, in the land of the Etruscans, there was a little village of Bomarzo ruled by a Prince named Vicino. When his wife, Giulia Farnese, died, he commissioned his architect to build a glorious park, “only to ease the heart.” And thus the Monster Park was born.

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Originally named the Villa of Marvels, the park was devised and built in 1552 by Pirro Ligorio on the command of Prince Pier Francesco Orsini, known as Vicino.

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Looking at the “Sacred Woods of Bomarzo”, one is transported back to a time when fantastical creatures and mythical stories seemed possible. From stone ogres with gaping mouths, to fiery, fighting dragons…

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…to the monstrous god Neptune, a giant stone Sleeping beauty, animals with three heads, and man-eating Elephants attacking warriors…

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…from the hero Hercules tearing Caucus apart, to a model of the Orsini castle, traversing these woods, the grief of a heart-broken prince was transformed by the brilliance of an architect into a fairy tale journey for the ages.

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Adding to the magical feel of the Monster Park, all of the sculptures were carved out of massive boulders in situ, appearing behind every knoll and bush organically. No pre-planned amusement park, this!

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Rediscovered in 1954, the park was bought by Mr. Giovanni Bettini who has since brought it to the attention of new generations of artists and dreamers, including the photographer Herbert List. The Parco dei Mostri is the fulfillment of the 16th century Prince's Ideal of Life: what matters is not the reality of things, but how we dream.

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