Casina delle civette foto

The Casina Delle Civette

The Casina delle Civette is situated in Rome, in the Villa Torlonia. It was the residence of Prince Giovanni Torlonia until 1938, the year of his death.

Originally, the building was a simple “Swiss Cabin” in rustic style, designed by Giuseppe Jappelli. The building was commissioned by Alessandro Torlonia, the uncle of Giovanni, to escape from the formality Prince, started to undergo a complete transformation: large windows were built with stained glasses decorated in Nouveau Style art, the interiors were decorated with paintings, mosaics and sculptures with shapes of animals and plants, giving the building a fairytale feeling. The renovations were directed by the architect Enrico Gennari.

Through the years, the building was subjected to heavy vandalism: during the Second World War it was occupied by Anglo-American troops and in 1991 there was a fire that destroyed it but thanks to a long and meticulous restoration work, the building has been recovered.

Today the villa has been transformed into a museum, so it can be visited.
Exploring its interior rooms, we can see that the figure of the owl recurs often. There is even an entire room dedicated to this symbolism: The Room Of The Owls.

This is because Giovanni Torlonia loved the symbol of the owl, linked to Greco-Roman mythology: the owl is, in fact, the guiding animal of Athena, the Goddess of wisdom.

Hence the name of this peculiar building: “The Casina delle Civette” (House of the Owls).