10 Aug 2012

Ninfa: the medieval ruins

 'The past is ever present at Ninfa and the medieval walls still
 define the character of the gardens.'
 Charles Quest-Ritson, writer.                                                                                  

Ninfa was sacked by mercenaries in 1381 and the aristocratic Caetani family retreated to the hilltop town which overlooks it.  It was never restored and the ruined buildings were left to crumble and become covered in brambles and ivy until the 1920s.  Prince Gelasio Caetani was inspired to clear the land, survey and make good the remains of the buildings and begin the structural process of creating a garden among the ruins.  Later generations continued with its development in what is a unique and beautiful setting.                                                                  

The church of San Biabio
San Biagio ruins and the lavender walk
                                                               Santa Maria Maggiore (fresco)                                                                   
The Palace and Caetani tower

The wavy carving on the entrance to the lake represents the Caetani coat of arms whilst the eagle represents the Dell'Aquila family whose families became united through marriage.

Gelasio's summerhouse.Many writers and artists have visited Ninfa and have used the summerhouse
as a place of creativity.


  1. It looks so sunny in your place. Thank God the rain has stopped pouring incessantly here and the sun is out again!

  2. a wonderful place to visit and I would love it.

  3. This is such a nice story...so nice to see ruins cleaned up and beautiful again.

  4. Thanks everyone for your visit and comment. I hope you have a good weekend.

  5. when the pods dry, the split open making a popping noise and throw the seeds every where. i brought several pods in the house and put them in a green bottle. one night i heard POP in the kitchen and went to see what it was and the seeds were on the shelf and floor.

  6. I am sure that Ninfa is an inspiring place for writers and artists as you can even feel the atmosphere by looking at your photos. By the way I am delighted you enjoyed the Marta webcam. ave a great weekend, I will continue to watch for shooting stars as not seen one yet this year.

  7. That lavender walk must give a person a taste of heaven! It's wonderful when someone with the means to do so, restores a place in some form.