Key to Umbria: Spoleto

Villa Redenta (17th century)

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This palace, which stands on the site of a Roman villa, was first documented in 1603 as a “Perpulchrum Palatium”.  It passed to Gerolamo Pianciani Martorelli in 1693 and to Fabrizio, the brother of Bishop Francesco Maria Loccatelli, in ca. 1750.  Fabrizio and Giuseppe Loccatelli restructured the villa, the facade of the family chapel and the park.  In inscription [near the atrium] records that Pope Pius VII stayed here in 1805, on his return from France.  

Marchese Francesco Marignoli bought the villa in 1823, probably on behalf of Pope Leo XII.  It subsequently passed to the Fiumi Sermattei family of  Assisi.  Marchese Filippo Marignoli re-acquired it for his family at the end of the 19th century: this gave rise to the name “Villa Redenta” (redeemed villa).

The Franciscans bought the villa in 1957, at which point it became the Collegio Missionari di Sant’ Antonio. The Province of Perugia acquired it in 1973  and began its restoration in 1995.  It was restored again in 2003: the ex-stables now house the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto and the building opposite now serves as a hotel.


The layout of the park is basically that designed for Fabrizio and Giuseppe Loccatelli in the late 18th century, and accords with the taste of the period.  Remains from the Roman villa here are dotted around the grounds.

You enter along the right side of the palace (as seen from the  main road).  Walk straight ahead through the main part of the garden, which is an island of formality set within the otherwise “natural” park.  The hedge and obelisks ahead frame the neo-Classical  “Teatrino” (little theatre), which is now in ruins.

Look back to see the formal view of the villa behind the Fontana dell' Obelisco (ca. 1750).

The chapel to the right of the villa is balanced by a matching building further to the right.  The stone balustrade between them encloses the “giardino segreto” (secret garden).

The building housing the hotel is to the left of the villa, opposite the building that originally housed the stables.  A stretch of Roman pavement has been uncovered to the left of this latter building.

[There is a Mithraic temple near the perimeter wall].

Read more:

G. Silvestri, “Villa Redenta”, (2008) Spoleto

I just came across this on-line resource on the website of the Biblioteca Comunale “Giosue Carducci”, Città di Castello.  I have not yet had time to use it for this page, but intend to do so before long.

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