Hidden Gems in Rome: Discover Villa Maraini in Rome

Villa Maraini in Rome

Hello and welcome to a new article dedicated to hidden gems in Rome, Italy. In this guide, I’ll take you to discover Villa Maraini, a hidden jewel in the heart of the Pincio Hill. Specifically, I’ll show you what to see at Villa Maraini in Rome, even if you have limited time. Villa Maraini is a hidden treasure known mainly by locals and a few lucky visitors. So, get ready to live an experience as a local!

A Brief History of Villa Maraini

Built in the 17th century at the behest of the noble Maraini family, Villa Maraini in Rome has seen various eras, transforming from a luxurious aristocratic residence to a meeting place for intellectuals. Today, in Villa Maraini is located the Swiss Institute in Rome. It promotes scientific and artistic exchanges between Switzerland and Italy.

Villa Maraini in Rome
Villa Maraini in Rome

Hi, I’m Marianna

Before diving into our free guide on Villa Maraini in Rome, let me introduce myself. My name is Marianna, I am a Travel Consultant and a Travel Blogger. I founded theitalianvibes.com to help you know more about my beloved Country: Italy. In particular, I will let you know my Country as local people do. For that reason, in my Blog you will find several content about the best things to do and to eat in Italy to experience the real Italian Vibes. Well, it’s a blog dedicated to travel, food, and wine itineraries around Italy. After this important introduction, let’s go on discovering Villa Maraini in Rome.

Villa Maraini

The History of Villa Maraini in Rome

In the heart of Rome, among majestic streets and ancient monuments, lies Villa Maraini, an architectural masterpiece that enchants visitors with its beauty. The story of this villa begins in the early 1900s when the noble Maraini family decided to build a residence embodying their elegance and prestige. The location choice was no accident. We are in the Ludovisi district, near the Pincio.

Choosing the Location

Interestingly, the chosen site for the Villa was peculiar. At the time, the area around the Ludovisi district was an open landfill, with debris and excavation materials from nearby zones piling up to form a kind of hill. Elevated above the street, this area offered a stunning view over Rome. That’s why Rome Municipality put the lots in the area up for sale. The Maraini family secured the last available lot, strategically located to offer a breathtaking view of the eternal city and positioned favorably near key points of interest. Recognizing the importance of such a location, the Maraini family invested substantial resources into the construction of Villa Maraini.

Selecting the Architect

The project was entrusted to Ticinese architect Otto Maraini. He created a masterpiece far removed from the architectural styles of the time. The result was a Renaissance architectural marvel with elegant lines, refined details, and harmonious integration with the surrounding landscape. The villa quickly became a symbol of prestige and social status for the Maraini family, hosting lavish receptions and high-profile meetings. These events drew the attention of Roman nobility and distinguished visitors from around the world.

Villa Maraini
Villa Maraini

What to See at Villa Maraini in Rome

I visited Villa Maraini during one of the special openings organized by FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano). I was so impressed by the beauty of this place that I decided to join FAI after participating to the event. Thanks to their guided tours, I was able to explore Villa Maraini, from its beautiful gardens to its tower.

Villa Maraini

The Gardens of Villa Maraini

Our tour of Villa Maraini starts with its sumptuous gardens. It’s worth noting that the villa has more than one entrance. The main public entrance is at Via Ludovisi, 48. However, at the end of the guided tour, the guide will also show you the beautiful secondary entrance. Once you pass through the entrance gate, you will find yourself on an uphill tree-lined avenue, surrounded by tall trees and a beautiful grotto. Yes, the noble Maraini family decided to build a stunning grotto in their garden.

Continue walking along the entrance avenue to reach the beautiful courtyard in front of the villa’s main entrance. Take a moment to breathe in the fresh air and listen to the silence around you. It feels like being in a distant place, in a different era. The gardens of Villa Maraini are a true oasis of beauty and tranquility in the heart of Rome. Admire the details in a sensory journey through a rich variety of plants, flowers, and ancient trees.

Villa Maraini
Villa Maraini

The Facade of Villa Maraini

Now you can admire the facade of Villa Maraini in all its glory. The architecture of this villa is a tribute to Renaissance elegance. Every detail of its facade recalls the splendor of early 20th-century Italian architecture. The main facade features a beautiful colonnaded portico, with a series of columns that give an impression of grandeur and nobility. To make it even more picturesque, the portico is surrounded by lemon trees, colorful flowers, and marvelous statues.

Take a moment to admire the spectacular ceiling of the portico. As soon as you step onto the colonnaded portico, you will realize the stunning view of all of Rome. And you still haven’t seen the view from the top of Villa Maraini’s tower! The side facades of the villa are equally impressive, with a series of unique stained glass windows. The large windows allow natural light to flood the interiors, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Each window is framed with elaborate stucco decorations, adding an extra touch of elegance to the building.

Villa Maraini
Villa Maraini

The Ballroom of Villa Maraini

Our exploration of Villa Maraini continues inside. Entering the villa, you will find yourself in the ballroom, where the Maraini family hosted Roman and Swiss nobility, organizing magnificent parties and banquets. Unfortunately, the decorations from that era are no longer present. However, you can still admire the original fresco on the ceiling. It is said that Carolina Maraini-Sommaruga, wife of Emilio Maraini, is depicted in this fresco.

Villa Maraini
Villa Maraini

The Interiors of Villa Maraini

Continuing our guided tour, you can visit other rooms in the villa. Thanks to excellent restoration work, the original floors and ceilings have been preserved. Believe me, they are truly wonderful. Admire the coffered wooden ceiling in the game room and enjoy the garden views from the large windows throughout the villa. The architectural style of Villa Maraini features a blend of Renaissance and Baroque elements, giving the building an aura of grandeur and nobility.

Villa Maraini

The Tower of Villa Maraini

After exploring the beautiful interiors, it’s time to enjoy the panoramic view of Rome from the tower of Villa Maraini. Due to its strategic position, the tower is the highest point in Rome after St. Peter’s Dome. Climb the three easy flights of stairs to reach the top, and you will be rewarded with a breathtaking 360-degree view of Rome. You can see the Altare della Patria, Piazza Venezia, the Gianicolo, the Colosseum, and much more. The view is stunning.

Travel Tip from Your Favorite Travel Consultant: For a romantic and beautiful view of Rome, visit Villa Maraini at sunset. Check the villa’s opening hours before planning your visit.

Join One of My Guided Tours in Rome

I visited Villa Maraini in Rome again with an amazing guide during one of Guided Tour in Rome, organized by my Tour Operator. I left speechless by its beauty. “Discover Rome with a Friend” is my special format to discover hidden gems in Rome, with a passionate travel guide. By joining one of my Guided Tours in Rome, you’ll uncover Rome’s hidden treasures, experiencing the city through its various historical phases.

So far, I guided over 130 people all around Rome, to discover hidden gems. After the end of my Guided Tours, we always stop for an aperitif in a non-touristy place to get to know each other better. This way, we spent an afternoon filled with culture, beauty, and many new friends.

If you want to join one of my “Discover Rome with a Friend” guided tours, send me an email to marianna@theitalianvibes.com. Come on, start discovering the off-beathen path Rome!

Villa Maraini
Villa Maraini

Discover Villa Maraini in Rome: Now It’s Your Turn

Here we are at the end of our article. In this piece, I’ve taken you on a journey to discover one of Rome’s secret villas, where you can spend an afternoon surrounded by art and beauty. If you want to discover more hidden gems in the heart of Rome, check out my Free Guides:

I hope that this Free Guide will help you organize your next trip to Italy without getting crazy! If you need a tailor-made itinerary, send me an email to marianna@theitalianvibes.com. I will be happy to help you! Feel free to share your thoughts—I’m here to make your Italian adventure unforgettable!


Marianna, Your Italian Friend

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