Postcards from Italy: Casino Nobile a must-visit for its art, architecture, and importance

The author poses during a tour of Casino Nobile.
The author poses during a tour of Casino Nobile.
Katherine Schick

In the west of Rome stands a regal estate of gardens, a palace, mansion, theater, stables, athletics fields, and more. Purchased in 1797 by Giovanni Torlonia of the Torlonia noble family, the villa remained in the family until 1925, when Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini claimed it as his private residence for one lira a year. When Rome was liberated in 1944, the residence came under the control of the Allied High Command until 1947, and was opened as a public museum in the 1990s. I visited the estate yesterday, awed by elegant sculptures, gilded ceilings and walls, and electorate furniture of Casino Nobile (Mussolini’s old “house”); joyed by the crafty art collection of the Casino dei Principi, and enraptured by the rustic Casina delle Civitte, a house that contains gorgeous stained glass windows in haunting hallways. So far, this has been my ultimate hidden gem of this trip. I would recommend this estate to be visited by everyone, as it’s tranquil, gorgeous in art and architecture, and of the utmost importance to the history of Italian nobility and Italy’s role in WWII.

From Roma with love, Kate


(Katherine Schick is a high school student from Watertown, Mass., who is spending a month with a host family in Rome while studying Italian and documenting her travels for the Headliners of Summer newsroom with her “Postcards from Italy” series.)

–Aug. 2, 2023–

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