Cesi Palace, a noble residence in Acquasparta

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Cesi Palace is the noble residence of Federico Cesi, duke of Acquasparta, known as “Il Linceo” (his symbol was a lynx, constantly repeated in the palace decorations), that lies in the center of the ancient town of Acquasparta, in Umbria.

Built in the 17th century on the ruins of a fortress, the Palace, with severe lines, experienced a period of splendor during the life of Federico Cesi, intellectual, scholar and founder of the Accademia dei Lincei, one of the oldest scienfic institutions in Europe.

Decorations, frescoes that narrate the noble lineage of the house, images inspired by the Metamorphoses of Ovid or by the Lives of Plutarch, magnificent coffered ceilings that enhance the family crests, welcome the visitor along a long theory of rooms that hosted, in 1624, Galileo Galilei, linked to Federico Cesi by a deep friendship, so much so that the latter took, in some of his writings, the defenses of his friend and his heliocentric theories.

Federico’s deep culture transpires from every detail, and the very modern conception of a condition of well-being and common cultural elevation is highlighted by the motto “Omnibus Idem” (everytinhg to everybody) repeated many times inside the friezes that decorate the upper part of the walls in the various rooms, made by Giovan Battista Lombardelli.

Of particular value is the wooden ceiling of the Throne Room, on the main floor, where the emblem of the family supported by two winged Victories triumphs in the center, and next to whose magnificent fireplace, Federico and Galileo are said to have entertained their intellectual conversations.

Austere and powerful on the outside as rich and refined on the inside, Palazzo Cesi is a jewel in the very rich and generous Umbrian territory.

Benedetta Tintillini


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