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Villa Redenta

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Outside the historic center on the northern outskirts of Spoleto, there is a beautiful villa with an immense garden that today has become a public park, a magnificent green area open to locals and tourists. In the 16th century in the place where a Roman quarter once stood, an elegant mansion was built commissioned by the noble Martorelli family of Spoleto. Over the centuries, as the house changed owners, it underwent various restructuring projects. The Locatelli family bought it in the 1700s and wanted to give it an appearance of grandeur worthy of the popes Pious VI and Pious VII who lived in it. In 1823 it passed through the hands of Francesco Marignoli, who owned it briefly, selling it soon to Annibale Sermatti della Genga, also a member of the nobles of Spoleto and who became pope in 1823 under the name Leon XII.  Several decades later, in 1885, the Marignolis bought it again, when it became known as the Villa Redenta, or ‘Rebought Villa.’ The villa is a large square building between two angular towers. The house has a monumental entrance with three arches on the side facing the garden; another entrance on via Flaminia has a large door with an overlooking balcony with wrought iron railings. Inside the villa there are 15th century frescoes, a beautiful mosaic floor from Roman times and lovely decorations from the 17th-19th centuries, among which some life-sized Napoleonic soldiers. Particularly intriguing are the exotic landscapes in the Sala Cinese (Chinese Room) and the mythological scenes in the Sala Canoviana (Canoviana Room). The villa also has a chapel, a café house in Rococò style, a guesthouse (hostel) and stables. The gardens are absolutely worth visiting: there are 900 different species of plants, among which a Lebanon Cypress 19m high (60 ft).  The garden is enhanced with a small outdoor theater and artificial Roman ruins that give charm to the entire area.

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