Caprarola is a small village in the countryside near the Cimini Mountains. When you arrive in Caprarola you cannot help but notice the vast hazelnut groves that cover most of the landscape, hazelnuts of the highest quality and the most delicious taste.
Upon arriving, it seems just like one of the many small medieval towns of the area, but like all of them, even Caprarola has its main feature, and what a feature! Going up towards the village center, along the main street that residents affectionately call "diritto" which in local dialect means ”the straight road”, because the road goes up and up, along a steep straight line, reaching the heart of the village. At the end of the road, one reaches an open square and one cannot but be amazed by the sight that presents itself: Palazzo Farnese in all its glory!
Palazzo Farnese was built by Vignola, commissioned by the Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in 1530 and finished in 1575 on an old medieval fortress, and it is fascinating for its unique pentagonal shape. The staircase leading to the first floor is of rare beauty, but what most people don’t know is that it was designed to reach the first floor directly on horseback. Among its splendid frescoed rooms we can imagine seeing princes and princesses dancing and feasting, and I must admit that one day I happened to find a dream like scenario - an 18th century ball. Listening to the music and seeing the clothes of the ladies twirling to the waltz was like stepping back in time.
The gardens are another sight that must not be missed with its fountains and water features. For those who have seen the movie A Midsummer Night's Dream, released in 1999, this was shot entirely in Caprarola and in particular in the Palazzo Farnese. It is not surprising then that being in its garden or in its rooms seems like being in a dream. The garden is so beautiful and peaceful that many heads of state, including Prince Charles, have chosen to spend their holidays in the hunting lodge, which is located just beyond the garden on the opposite side of the building. The beautiful peacocks that stroll through the park undisturbed complete the romantic frame enveloped in the magic of this beautiful place. Is it really worth making the trip up here, whether for a day or longer. This is just one of the wonderful secrets of Tuscia.