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 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)
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 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."
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!