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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 garden and archaeological parkland was once the home of Augustus, the first Roman emperor, and has witnessed many world changing events, beginning 800 B.C.  To name but a few: “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire”, the beginning of Christianity and the heritage of the Great  Treasure of Jerusalem.

Since 1949 it has inhabited by a group of artists - the Convivium Romanum -  under the patronage Pio Silj di Sant’Andrea di Ussita, uncle of the current owner Bernard Anson Silj (aka DADO).

DADO, writer and storyteller, has brought a new generation of artists and storytellers to create a unique project of “a garden written like a book, and a book cultivated like a garden”. This work is called “The Garden of Lemniscati”, which tells the tales of this place, in the form of history, legend, folk tale and myth. Each tale is connected to the features, the archeological artefacts and the art installations. It is intended as a total experience, for those who visit, a mix of DADA and ZEN, where everything is wrapped in mystery and treasure hunt. Indeed the word Lemniscati is a Bronze Age moebius strip of never ending beginnings and originates on the island of Lemnos (Greece), where begins the tale “The Etruscan Song of Circular Time”.

All the stories cross this garden but reach out to the farthest corners of the earth, like songlines. Indeed this work has represented the catalyst of a bigger project to map the world by stories being run by the association  You stand on the perimeter of the Lemniscati garden, contemplating Ithaca, Camelot, Atlantis, Jerusalem, Lorelei, Avalon 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.