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Bomarzo – Where to See Monsters in Italy

The Orc's Mouth in Bomarzo

There are lots of places to visit in Italy, but Italian region of Lazio is often overlooked simply because everyone heads to the capital, otherwise known as the Eternal city of Rome. If you are in the know, as you soon will be, you’ll discover that away from the hustle and bustle of Rome lie monsters awaiting your visit. Indeed, there’s a whole park full of them.

One suspects little monsters, sorry, children would love the idea of visiting a park full of monsters.

Known locally and rather appropriately as the Park of the Monsters, is the Sacred Grove, a garden in not far from Viterbo in Bomarzo which is teeming with monstrous sculptures.

The Orc's Mouth in Bomarzo
The Orc’s Mouth in Bomarzo

The park was built by an Italian warlord called Pier Francesco Orsini who was reputedly not keen on his garden to be referred to as a garden. For reasons which are not entirely clear, Orsini decided to create a park full of monstrous statues in memory of his late wife.

A Dragon and Lions at Bomarzo
A Dragon and Lions at Bomarzo

To have inspired a tribute in the form of a park full of monsters, Orsini’s late beloved must have been quite a woman! Maybe celebrating lost love with monsters is a warlord thing.

Hannibal and Elephant
Hannibal and Elephant

Anyway, Orsini’s ‘tribute’ to his spouse has left the world with an intriguing tourist attraction in Italy even if not that many tourists know it exists. Indeed, on Trip Advisor there are only 617 reviews of the park. The majority of these reviews rate Monster Park as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ which means it’s worth a visit. There’s also a castle at Bomarzo.

Admission Prices

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A visit the monsters of Bomarzo, so to speak, will cost €10 for adults, €8 for children aged from 4 to 13. More information can be found on what is maybe (it’s rather amateurish but is in English) the park’s official site: Bomarzo.net – prices appear to be for 2014. The park is open from 8am until sunset all year round.

Bomarzo’s monster park would be a fun place for a Halloween visit. Maybe the monstrous statues come alive at Halloween?!

An Hour from Rome

Monster Park is around an hour’s drive from Rome which makes it an ideal day trip from Rome. Tour companies do run day trips to Bomarzo too.

The area surrounding Bomarzo’s Monster Park is interesting too – there’s Viterbo down the road, as are the great Renaissance gardens at Villa Farnese and Villa Lante. Also not too far away from Bomarzoare the lakes of Barcciano, Trasimeno, Vico and Bolsena, nor is the tranquil Maremma area of Tuscany.

If you do visit this park, or have done so already, let us know what you thought of it.


Bomarzo Monster Park photographs by Alessio Damato

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