Villa Aurelia Rome (American Academy)

The Villa Aurelia in Rome was constructed in 1650 by Cardinal Gerolamo Farnese. The mansion next-door used to belong to Alessandro Farnese (later Pope Paul III) and had been decorated by Gerolamo with paintings. Nowadays the Villa Aurelia is the seat of the American Academy.

Villa Aurelia Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Villa Aurelia Rome
Villa Aurelia

Address: Largo di Porta San Pancrazio, 1 – Rome (tel. +39 06 5846620/3). The building can be visited thourhg a 30 minute guided tour. Booking is obligatory. Only 10 people can participate per tour. The visit, which takes place on Wenesdays at 10AM, is free. In order to book, send your name, street address, telephone number, email address, and requested tour date to

History and description

The original name of this two-floor building was Villa Farnese. The ground floor has six windows and a big entrance, whereas the first floor is characterized by a loggia with 3 arches and 3 windows. In order to reach the palazzo, one had to follow a lane flanked by cypresses, to end up at the northern facade, which was fronted by a garden.

The villa remained property of the Moroni‘s till 1731, when it was acquired by the Borbone family from Naples. In 1775 it was bought by the Duke of Giraud.

In the beginning of the next century it was the turn of the Marquis Muti Papazzurri to buy the villa. The name was changed into Villa Savorelli and the building itself was reconstructed by Virgilio Vespignani (who was also responsible for the nearby Porta San Pancrazio).

Because of its position on a hill and therefore its excellent view the Villa Savorelli was chosen by Garibaldi to function as his headquarters. After the villa had been bombed by the French soldiers, Garibaldi moved to the Villa Spada.

American Academy

In 1856 a new restoration took place. After Savorelli’s death, the building was acquired by the bank Monte di Pietà and at the end of the 19th century the villa was bought by Clara Jessup from Philadelphia. She had it restored again (in 1908) and changed then name to Villa Aurelia. After her death she bequeathed the Villa Aurelia to the Accademia Americana.

This academy had been founded in 1905 as a private school of architecture. In 1909 it merged with another school that was dedicated to the arts.

The Academy also owns another building in the Via Angelo Masina, 5.

Largo di Porta San Pancrazio, 1 – Rome

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