The Villa Pigneto Sacchetti excavation: a new interpretation

Perkins, Phil and Schafer, Sally (2009). The Villa Pigneto Sacchetti excavation: a new interpretation. Papers of the British School at Rome, 77(2009) pp. 273–290.




The remains of the seventeenth century Villa Pigneto Sacchetti lie in Rome to the northwest of the Vatican City, on a steep slope in the Valle dell’ Inferno in the regional park of Monte Mario. Designed for the Sacchetti family by Pietro da Cortona, the leading painter of the Roman Baroque, it was one of a limited number of his architectural projects to be built. In 1990 the villa was believed lost and so a project was devised to locate and explore the material remains, the villa was partially excavated and subsequently published in the Papers of the British School at Rome 68 (2000). In 2008, Jörg Martin Merz’s much-awaited monograph, Pietro da Cortona and Roman Baroque Architecture was published. Without any doubt, this book makes a major contribution to the architectural literature of the Roman Baroque. It includes a chapter on the Villa Pigneto Sacchetti. Several points are raised about our work in the new monograph. This article offers a reinterpretation of the building history of the villa that aims to reconcile the divergent opinions and incorporate advances in scholarship since 2000.

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