The 28 hectare Parco Chigi in Ariccia is part of the Palazzo Chigi. Some of its trees are over four centuries old and the various lens running through it are decorated with all sorts of statues, fountains and (elements) of ancient Roman monuments.
Chigi Park Ariccia
Address: Piazza di Corte, 14 – Ariccia. Phone: (+39) 06 9330053. Opening times: Winter (1 October – 31 March) from 10.00 till 13.00 and from 15.00 till 18.00; Summer (April 1 – September 30) from 10.00 till 13.00 and from 15.30 till 18.30. Closed: Mondays. Ticket price: 4 Euros (free when you also visit at least one part of the Palazzo Chigi).
History and description
The original owners of the Parco Chigi were the Savelli family. At the time it was mainly used as a hunting ground.
There are enormous holm oak, ash, maple trees, as well as sequoias and hackberry trees. The ground also contains some quarries where rare minerals such as Latiumite and Harkerite have been discovered.
The paths crisscrossing the park were laid in the 17th century.
In 1628, one of these quarries was transformed into an Uccelleria (“bird cage”) by the Savelli. The Chigi later turned this into part of the garden.
The lake in the lower part of the park replaced the old Peschiera (fish pond), which was destroyed when the Monumental Bridge collapsed in 1944.
The architects, mainly Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Carlo Fontana, added fountains and created squares and buildings such as the Neviera (a space where snow was collected in winter and which was used as a kind of fridge during the summer months).
Roman ruins found in or near Ariccia dot the park. There is a milestone of the Via Appia Antica and there are also a number of ancient sarcophagi.
There are even ruins of an 8th century fortress, which might have been constructed by the Annibaldi family and was later transformed into the San Rocco Church.