Acquasparta

Palazzo Cesi

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Tourist information and welcome office
Via Cassian Bon, 4 - 05100 Terni
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Among the fiefs and properties that the noble family Cesi acquired in the places where it resides in Lazio and Umbria the residence of Acquasparta rises. Certainly the Palazzo Cesi was the most famous and important.

It was built in the town center. In 1540, Gian Giacomo Cesi and his wife Isabella of Alviano obtained the fief of Acquasparta by Pier Luigi Farnese, in exchange for that of Alviano. Ten years later the family already has a worthy home, nevertheless planning to enlarge it and transform it into a prestigious building. In 1561 the project task was entrusted to the florentine architect Guidetto Guidetti, later replaced by the Milanese Givan Domenico Bianchi.
Around 1579 the construction of the building ends, when Federico Cesi, a nephew of Gian Giacomo, marry Olimpia Orsini. In the first months of 1604, within its walls Federico retired discouraged by the attitude of his father, intolerant and unsympathetic towards the activity of the Accademia dei Lincei. A few month before infact Federico with other friends founded the Accademia.
Once past the critical stage the four founders, including Frederick, shooting to gather in the halls of the building which, in 1618, became the residence of Frederick and official seat of the Academy. The quiet of the Umbrian countryside makes it the home of the Cesi an
ideal place for academic work and scientific research. Also in 1624 Galileo Galilei was a guest in the palace of Acquasparta.
The building is accessible from the entrance hall leading to the ground floor rooms. From the porch, through a staircase, you get to the main floor. Here precious frescoes celebrate the illustrious origins and the great military virtues of the Cesi family. Beautiful coffered wood ceilings adorn the rooms. On the main floor, in the boardroom, on the coffered ceiling are carved figures of Hercules, trophies of arms and gargoyles.
Among the decorative paintings that illustrate the military exploits and the origins of the Cesi family, stands the emblem of the Academy: the lynx surrounded by a laurel wreath.
On the ground floor the decoration of the rooms dedicated to privacy of Cesi, draw on the rich mythological heritage, in particular by Ovid's Metamorphoses. All the decorations are considered one of the greatest examples of Roman painting style in Umbria.
 


Bibliography
Martinelli Imbriani A. (1982), Contributo alla storia di Acquasparta, Roma, Edizioni Oddo.
T.C.I. (2004), Umbria, Milano, Touring Editore.