VILLA LANTE -- BAGNAIA - The Villa Lante gardens in Bagnaia

Five kilometers from Viterbo on Route 205.

Since the 13th century, Bagnaia had been the personal fief of the bishops of Viterbo. The Villa Lante was thus not created by lay princes such as Orsini or Gonzagues, but by men of the Church. As you will see, the tone does not change.
The Villa Lante is the work of two bishops of Viterbo who succeeded each other on the city's episcopal throne.

The first was Gian Francesco Gambarra, the second, Alessandro Montalto.

According to the chroniclers of the time, the former was learned but lived simply. The latter, a cardinal at the age of seventeen, was the nephew of Pope Sixtus V.

The combination of Gambarra, a mature man, and Montalto, an adolescent, would produce one of the strangest Italian villas and one of the strangest Italian parks.

To create this work, Gambarra called on one of the great architects of his era, Giacomo Barozzi, known as "Il Vignola". Il Vignola worked in close collaboration with an acclaimed specialist, Pirro Ligorio, to deliver yet again a sort of initiatory path with surprises and shocks.
A hydraulics specialist had to be added, a man from Sienna called Thomaso Chiruchi. It was he who adjusted the waterworks to perfection.
It should be noted that after having been the episcopal see, the villa was sold to the Duke of Lante in the 17th century.
The villa was described by Montaigne. It was one of the residences he explored during his trip to Italy.