Places to discover

Mondragone Villa

The villa, built on a lush hill overlooking Rome and surrounded by a 18-hectare park, is located between Frascati and Monte Porzio Catone, and falls under the jurisdiction of the latter.

Being one of the Tuscolane Villas, ten refined Renaissance homes built by the papal nobility during the 16th Century, it sits on the remains of an ancient Roman villa that belonged to the Quintili family.
The building was erected between 1573 and 1574 by order of Cardinal Marco Sittico Altemps, as a suitable place to host the court of Pope Gregorio XIII, who was responsible for the term “Mondragone” which refers to the winged dragon on the coat of arms of the Boncompagni clan.

The villa, designed by architect Martino Longhi Il Vecchio (“The Old”), consists of a structure endowed with wide rooms, many of which are finely decorated. At the heart of the building is the famous “Sala degli Svizzeri”, most notable for hosting a significant historical event: the Reform of the Julian calendar ordered by Pope Gregorio XIII at which he promulgated the renowned seal “Inter Gravissimas”, in 1582.

During the first decade of the 17th century the villa was acquired by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who ordered several expansions and upgrades, including a gallery that connected Casino del Longhi and the Retirata, a wide garden equipped with a porch, a theater “delle Acque” and an impressive quadrangle court.

It was the pope’s summer estate up until 1626, when Urbano VIII relocated it to Castel Gandolfo, and then was later acquired, at the end of the 19th century, by the Compagnia of Gesù, who used it as an external location for the Ghislieri boarding school and later as a boarding school for the young Roman nobility.

The building is now a congress and event center for the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and is open to the public upon reservation.

For information and contacts please visit:
Sito del Centro Congressi di Villa Mondragone