Monday, November 06, 2006

Bomarzo - Garden Of Monsters
"Black and white images flicker silently across the screen as the camera slowly pans a dark jungle of twisting vegetable forms. Stone sculptures of decaying dragons, crumbling soldiers and reclining nudes disfigured by layers of lichen stare momentarily from the shadows as if startled by the spotlight before returning to the safety of their dark captivity as the camera passes. The film seems like a retro adventure romp until the familiar waxed moustache of Salvadore Dali appears on the screen.

No Indiana Jones, Dali shot the film in less than a hundred kilometres north of Rome. However, in a way, Dali had discovered his own lost world. The ‘Garden of the Monsters’, a labyrinth of winding paths and colossal sculptures is one of the most unusual creations of the Italian Renaissance, a ‘miraculous phenomenon of Italian gardening history’." continue reading the article quoted above here.

20 photographs from Bomarzo
Another gallery with descriptions of the statues and images
More info and photographs of the garden
Article with more pictures
Some colored paintings on cards of the statues from Bomarzo
Painting details of Bomarzo by Bartholomeus Breenbergh
More on Bomarzo
The first photo on this page shows a good size comparison of the statues to humans.
This painting by Salvador Dali was inspired by the garden of monsters.

And for anyone making vacation plans, here's how to get there.

"Bomarzo is a little more than one hour’s drive north from Rome, and twenty-five kilometers from the provincial capital of Viterbo. It is open from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. To get there you take the Autostrada del Sole, from Rome heading towards Florence. You can take either the Attigliano or the Orte exits. If you want to explore more of this fascinating area, Orvieto, a little further north along the autostrada, makes a good base, with a number of good hotels and excellent restaurants."

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