Park Hotel Villa Grazioli
An engraved marble slab, in the family-chapel, reports the words of a letter dated 1580, in which Pope Gregorius XII honoured the foundation of the Villa and consecrated the chapel to St. John the Baptist.
Tis memorial stone is important to the history of the Villa, not only because it report the foundation date, but because it let us know the identity of the founder and the reasons behind his decision to build a villa: "Our beloved child Antonio Carafa, Cardinal Deacon, has had a villa built on the Tusculum Hill in order to recuperate from the tiring activities he constantly conducts for the Church.
Having not the intention to yield himself to leisure, but rather to find in tranquility the celestial nourishment of the spirit, he has built a chapel to St. John the Baptist...”
Following the steps of Lucullus and Cato many centuries before, Cardinal Carafa chose to build a villa on the Tusculum Hill because of the mild climate and the atmosphere of tranquility embracing everything.
He desired a location immersed in the peacefulness of rural life, where his spirit could recover and contemplate the mysteries of nature, away from stressful activities in the capital.
At the death of Cardinal Carafa, the Villa passed by inheritance to Ottavio Acquaviva.
He represents an important character in the Villa’s history, commissioning the majority of the paintings, which fill with colors and bring to life the vaults of the four salons on the ground floor.
Unfortunately, the painter of these compositions, dated at 1605, must remain anonymous.
Ancient documents mention names of great artist such as Domenichino and Carracci, but recent expert deny these attributions.
They suggest that the choice of colors and the feature of the style indicate the name of Agostino Ciampelli, a painter trained at the famous school of Santi Di Tito in Florence.