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Photographer's Note

It is with great pleasure that today I beginning a small serie of images on purpose of the Villa Falconieri, the more fascinating villa of Frascati, unfortunately it is open to the public only some days of the year.
This is the "Portal of the Hawk".

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Villa Falconieri, also called "Rufina" or "La Ruffina", is the oldest of the 'Tuscolana' villas and was probably built on the remains of an ancient Roman villa considered by some historians to have belonged to the Roman consul Gabinius and to the Cusini and Quintili patrician families of ancient Rome.
Although the construction work was started by Alessandro Rufini, bishop of Melfi between 1548 and 1574, the final building of Villa Falconieri is instead due to Alessandro Farnese, who around 1520, before becoming Pope Paul III, was the bishop of the Tuscolana diocese that included the territory of Frascati. During his bishopric, Alessandro Farnese had realised the strategic role of the town of Frascati with respect to Rome. Small wonder then that in 1537, in his third year as pontiff, he decided to reclaim the Tuscolana fief, which at that time belonged to the Colonna family, and to include it among the possessions of the Apostolic Chamber.
The following year, after giving Frascati city status under the ancient Roman name of Tusculum, he started significant renovation work by commissioning the architect Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (with fellow architects Bartolomeo Baronino and Giacomo di Ferrara - called 'Meleghino' - to assist him) to design a new urban plan also envisaging the restoration and enlargement of the ancient town walls.

From http://www.cede.it/invalsi/eng/evilla.htm

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Additional Photos by Vinicio Tullio (vinicio) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2554 W: 236 N: 3986] (23423)
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