Sacred Grove of Bomarzo, Viterbo, Italy. Vicino (Prince of Orsini) and Pirro Ligorio, 1552
Vicino created the “Grove of Monsters” as a strange love poem to his deceased wife, Giulia. The shapes of the enormous boulders in his garden reminded him of monsters, and he transformed these boulders into dragons, nymphs, and other fantastic creatures.
“Whoever does not walk through this place with eyebrows raised and lips pressed tight, will also be incapable of understanding the Seven Wonders of the World.”
- Inscription at the entrance to the sacred grove, near a statue of Giulia with the body of a female Sphinx