Villa Fabri is a captivating place that combines art, history and nature, and from its garden you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Spoleto valley. It is or was called by different names, depending on the families that have owned it over time.
It was built at the beginning of the 17th century by Girolamo Fabri “for the relief of his old age, to the delight of posterity and the country”. It subsequently passed into the hands of the Venturini, then the Onori-Roncalli from Foligno, and again to the Carrara family from Terni to then pass into the ownership of the counts della Porta from Roma. In 1891 Monsignor Hais purchased it and expanded it to establish the Collegio Boemo (Bohemian Collage), while from the 1940s to the 1980s it housed the Collegio Etiopico (Ethiopian College)and was this renamed ‘Villa dei Moretti’. Today the Villa is owned by the Municipality and is the seat of the Municipal Tourist Office, of the Fondazione Villa Fabri and of the Regional Association promoting the Strada dell’Olio extravergine di Oliva Dop Umbria.
The facade of the Villa bears monochrome graffiti of Prague and five other Bohemian cities, while the numerous interior rooms are decorated with magnificent frescoes by artists from Rome and Siena from the first half of the 17th century, including Salimbeni and Pomarancio. Allegories, zodiac signs, scenes from the Old Testament and the lives of the saints are depicted, and in the first room, a fake door is painted bearing a curious character in the act of appearing.
Certainly the most important work in the Villa is the Cappella dei Boemi, built between 1912 and 1914, by Pantaleone Mayor, famous exponent of the Beuron school, an artistic movement that started in Sweden on the initiative of the Benedictine monk Peter Lenz in the second half of the 19th century. And it is precisely this chapel in Villa Fabri that represents the second most important work of this school of art in Italy, after the crypt of Montecassino.