Saturday, June 27, 2009

Il Parco dei Mostri

So I'm finally blogging about our visit to il Parco dei Mostri (Park of the Monsters). Tom Flynn, our Intro to the Art World professor (who is a very highly respected art blogger. Check him out at ) decided to convince our Criminology professor (the Slovenian guy) to skip the afternoon of class and take a field trip out to Bomarzo to see what he described as a "Mannerist sculpture park." We had no idea how absolutely cool it would be until we got there.

Here's a little bit of history about il Parco dei Mostri. It was realised in 1552 under the name of Villa of the Wonders, also called the Sacred Wood. Prince Pier Francesco "Vicino" Orsini had this monumental complex created out of love for his wife who died and was entombed here. The giant statues depict mythological scenes, particularly ones that represent the union of death and nature. This park was designed by Pirro Ligorio, the famous architect who worked on the construction of the Vatican after Michelangelo's death.

The Struggle between Giants, with Alan next to it for size comparison

The Three Graces...and me!

Lindsey, Harasyn, and Katie as the 3 Graces. They all wanted to do a "Harasyn Pose" haha

The Leaning House...inside the floor is perfectly level with the tilt of the house, so you feel really dizzy and off balance. Orsini did this on purpose to offer a "strong emotion to his friends who entered the house for a nap, but had to leave immediately for the dizziness they felt." (taken directly from the guide book I bought at the park)

Katie and me in the window of the leaning house!

Sleeping Nymph

Some random monster that used to be a fountain (I'm standing in the pool part) eating my head...

The Dragon, which embodies time. It's being attacked by a dog, a lion, and a wolf--symbols of spring, summer, and winter, and also of the present, future, and past.

Riding Aries of the Golden Fleece


The Elephant: he has a tower on top, and is catching a legionary. The wisest of the animals, he was said to be able to distinguish between good and evil.

The Ogre! Our favorite! He's a tavern and you go inside and there's a big stone table. It's creepy.

We are doing the Home Alone/Munch's Scream face!

The Etruscan Bench. It says:
"You, who wanders the world,
Anxious to see huge and magnificent marvels,
Come here where you will find hideous faces
Of elephants, lions, bears, ogres and dragons."

The Temple, compared to Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.

Striking a pose on the temple porch. They think it's so funny that I have creative poses for all pictures! Thank you pageants, modeling, and Ali! :-)

Proteous-Glauco: Neptune's son and the fisherman who became a sea god after having eaten a magical herb. On the top of the globe is Orsini's castle to symbolize the power of this branch of the family in the world.

On Wednesday, the group threw a joint birthday party for Katie and me (my birthday was Tuesday, and hers was Thursday) at Alan and Patrick's garden terrace. It was the usual "everyone bring something different" kind of party, to which I brought a large delicious salad I conjured up from random ingredients I found in the fridge. John and Jane provided delicious sausages (or salsiccia! my favorite Italian word!) that we barbecued and were simply to die for! And Alan went out and bought the most delicious gelato cake I have ever had, with pink birthday candles, and everyone sang to Katie and me. John and Jane even bought us presents! It was a wondeful party, though I can safely say I'm definitely already getting sick of pizza!

Katie and me blowing out our birthday candles!


  1. Ok, that is the most badass thing I have ever seen, hands down!

  2. Glad that Tom influenced the prof!!! Larger than life with some added tidbits (you guys) for garnish! Thnik about the guys that actually built the place...wonder if they realized that 500 years later people would still be marveling at their handicraft? This class is just a vast excuse for an in-depth guided tour. Whew! Lucky Ducks!!!

  3. Happy Birthdays to us! =) Miss you.

  4. To be brief, I absolutely love the the temple porch pic. You are so beautiful, sweetie. :-)