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History of Roman Villa Silj and Lemniscati Garden  

Our estate RVS and Lemniscati stands on the ancient border between the Etruscan world and the city of Rome, near the river Tiber. Here the Etruscans, a mysterious and magical race, created a powerful empire and  civilization in central Italy, which was initially centered on their foundation of Rome. After the rise to power of the Latin Romans, their first emperor Caesar Augustus built his country villa on our estate.

The villa RVS was built in the early nineteenth century and was part of one of the great farming estates in Rome. In 1949 it became the meeting place of a well-known group of artists, the "Convivium Romanum", who came to spend long afternoons, painting, eating, drinking and talking about art. Many of their paintings now decorate the walls of the Villa and the apartments...

The Convivium Romanum tradition has continued with contemporary artist friends brought by descendant Bernard Anson, (a.k.a DADO) author and storyteller, who added his own dimension of storytelling to create a complete work  which is made up of archeological remains, natural features and art installations all woven into his book “The Garden of Lemniscati”, which tells 12 great stories – history, legend folk tale and myth – about this this place (see below) and which reach out, across the world, like songlines.

In conceiving this work DADO also began to imagine the world, like a garden, and so Lemniscati became the laboratory from which began a project for mapping the world by stories, which is being developed also in Edinburgh (through the trust

This garden, this environment, this map and observatory is intended as an enchanted space, in which to experience quality time for creative thinking, reunion and celebration. It is also part of a legacy by artists and storytellers to help change the way people see the world - interact with the world - explore the world – beginning in the eternal city.  

Stories of The Garden of Lemniscati

   (with regions- other than Italy - touched by each story)

  • Fall of the House of Hypnos
  • The Etruscan Song of Circular Time (Lemnos, Greece)
  • Augustus and the Egg of the Imperial Succession  (The Roman Empire)
  • Pan in Dead (the Aegean)
  • The burial of Tacitus (Germania, Britannia)
  • The Donation of Contantine (York England, Trier Germany)
  • Orlando (France, Spain, Cathay etc.)
  • Abbul Abuz, the 1001 Nights (Baghdad, Aix la Chapelle)
  • The Great Lost Treasure of Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Wales, Spain the South Pacific)
  • Futurismo
  • Da DA-Neo-DA-DA  (Zurich Switzerland, Cathay)
  • The Three Languages (Switzerland) 
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The Lemniscati Garden

The Lemniscati Garden

The Lemniscati Garden

This archaeological park was once the country home of Octavian Augustus, the first Roman emperor, and has witnessed many world-shaping incidents, beginning with a palaeolithic extinction event (of the house of Sleep) which generated a deep rift, which eventually attracted an Etruscan Templum in 800 B.C.  Everything followed from that: the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, the beginning of Christianity, the custody of the Great Treasure of Jerusalem.

Then in the early 20th century came intense artist activity - in particular Futurist and DA-DAist - until the present day owner came along - Bernard Anson Silj (aka DA-DO) - with a new generation of artists, storytellers and a unique brand of Pata-physics and Pata-history. Since, it was obvious, all this "stuff" - concentrated in a single place - had to be given some sense, that went beyond sense. Perhaps a Pata-sense.   

What came out of it was “a garden written like a book; a book cultivated like a garden” with 12 great tales (a mix of history legend, myth and fairy tale)  reaching out to all the other tales of the world. This work by DA-DO is called “The Garden of Lemniscati”,  where each tale is connected to every other tale, and marked by archeological artefacts and art installations: a total experience, a riddle, a mystery, a treasure hunt. Indeed a Lemniscati is a Bronze Age moebius strip of never ending beginnings, originating on the island of Lemnos (Greece), of the first tale: “The Etruscan Song of Circular Time”.

This garden and work is a laboratory, which has generated a bigger project "to map the whole world by stories" as a legacy, left by artists and storytellers to help see the world differently. Our association has presented it at the end of the 2017 Edinburgh Festival. You stand on the edge of Lemniscati and - through a Pata-window installation - contemplate Avalon, Ithaca, Atlantis, Lorelei, Xanadu and the kingdom of Kush.



Some stories from “The Garden of Lemniscati”


This Lemniscati work also became the laboratory to develop the mapping the world by stories, which is now being developed by and as a legacy by artists and storytellers to help people see the world differently, to interact with and explore the world differently.

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The Storygardenz Project

The Storygardenz Project


Special Places with a Special Voice, to Stay

Beautiful residences, castles and villas, where you can stay and experience the world as legend, myth and fairy tale, also through the eyes of great poets, artists and seers. These special properties are not just for leisure, holidays and reunions, but also for changing the way of seeing the world, of working and playing in it.... 

Beautiful Destinations with Living Stories.