They say Italy has 70% of the world’s art treasures and half of those are in Rome. For its history, art and architecture, Rome is the centre of the world and has been attracting visitors from all over the world for centuries. Our aim is to give our guests a special, one-of- a-kind experiences, keep our tours small, very personalized, with a strong emphasis on storytelling rather than on heaping facts and dates.
Villa di Livia (the villa of Emperor Augustus) 5 minutes away. This perfect example of imperial Roman Villa used to be part of our own garden and has now been beautifully restored by the “Soprintendenza Beni Culturali”. This was the country villa of Emperor Augustus, representing the beginning of the imperial succession in Rome and the Roman Empire. Also told in the Lemniscati story garden “Augustus, the Egg of Imperial succession”.
Arch of Constantine (Malborghetto) 5 minutes away. This magic location, on our estate, is where Emperor Constantine camped his army here in 312 AD on the eve of the battle that established Christianity as the state religion of the West. Also told in the Lemniscati story garden “The Donation of Constantine”.
Selvotta Etruscan Magic cave. 5 minutes away. Set in a beautiful parkland with great walks, this is an extraordinary place of magic and enchantment. A little lake, a wooden bridge over a waterfall a 3000 year old tunnel takes you to the heart of Etruscan women spirit world. Also told in the Lemniscati story garden “The Etruscan Song of Circular Time”.
Veii Etruscan City. 10 minutes away. In 500 BC, when Rome was little more than a village, Veii was rich and proud, like Athens. It took the Romans the better part of 100 years to destroy it. “Now in her walls the plodding shepherd’s horn / Sings, and amid her bones men reap the corn.” Also told in the Lemniscati story garden “The Etruscan Song of Circular Time”.
Calcata hippy village. 30 minutes. It is impossible to remain unfazed by this eccentric and delightful, sitting on an outcrop in an Etruscan canyon: no cars, restaurants, tea houses, craft shops, rock pub, craft shops, magicians etc.
Hadrians Villa. Emperor Hadrian built a villa and garden into which to put all the empire.
Villa d’Este Tivoli masterpiece of the Italian Garden, UNESCO world heritage site.
Bracciano Castle - The White Devil One of the most imposing castles in Europe, scene of the tragedy “The White Devil” by Webster in the Shakespearean age.
Bomarzo Garden of Monsters One of the strangest mysterious gardens in the world
Etruscan World of Tuscia The mysteries of the Etruscan world can be experienced in the solitary and evocative landscapes of Norchia, San Giovenale-Blera, Barbarano etc.
Farnese Palazzo Caprarola One of the great Renaissance palaces and gardens
Villa Lante di Bagnaia One of the most famous mannerist Italian gardens
Lake Nemi and magic groves of the archetypal tale of antiquity “Rex Nemorensis” one of the most ancient places in Italy. But also a charming village
Florence with our partner Rome Walks
Naples, Pompeii Cuma
This is a garden of extraordinary stories - history, legend and myth. You will be able to experience it also in the book “The Garden of Lemniscati” supplied to you when you arrive. Here are some of the stories which have unfolded here: The Etruscan Song of Circular Time * Augustus, the Egg of Imperial succession * The Burial of Tacitus * The Donation of Constantine * Orlando * The Oliphant of 1001 Nights * The Great Lost Treasure of Jerusalem * The End of the Roman Empire * Futurismo * DADA * .
If you are a garden lover, you can stay at Lemniscati the first storytelling garden in the world and visit all the other wonderful gardens, secreted away in the heart of Rome, or sitting on hilltops outside town, all fragrant oases with ancient statuary, cool pools and fountains, symbolism and all shades of green. In Italian Villas and Their Gardens, Edith Wharton points out that villa in Italian refers both to the house and its garden or pleasure grounds.
Our own Lemniscati garden
Villa Medici statue-filled pleasure grounds, with astonishing views, this is the same 8 hectare site was covered by the fabled Gardens of Lucullus, one of the first attempts in the West to tame nature through landscape gardening.
Botanical Gardens and Queen Cristina’s Gold Some 3,000 plant species over 12 hectares: where in the 17th century “a queen without a realm”, Christina of Sweden, attempted to turn metals into gold with the help of a group of alchemists.
Farnese Palazzo Caprarola One of the great masterpieces of Italian garden art around the formidable pentagonal fortress.
Villa Lante di Bagnaia One of the most famous mannerist Italian gardens. Bucolic peace and classical ideal of balancing art and nature.
Bomarzo Garden of Monsters One of the strangest mysterious gardens in the world.
Villa d’Este Tivoli masterpiece of the Italian Garden, UNESCO world heritage site.
Ninfa considered by many to be the most beautiful garden on earth built around the ruins of a medieval town.
Castel Gandolfo, Pope’s Private Gardens The papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, perched dramatically above lake Albano 20 miles south of Rome, has meant a lot to many pontiffs.
Garden of Orange Trees
Villa Doria Pamphili
Villa Sciarra Gardens
Villa Borghese and Palazzo Borghese
Roman Parks (Villa Ada – Villa Borghese – Villa Pamphili) 58,18 km. - Medium
Cycle Track Tevere Nord (Castel Giubileo – Ponte Risorgimento) You rent a bike on this cycle track and cycle all the way into Rome, even up to Saint Peters in about one hour. 24,21 km. - Easy
Isola Farnese and park 31,34 km. - Medium and 30,26 km.- Easy
350 km. of cycle tracks in Rome and in the parklands around Roman Villa Silj. We can organize rental of any type of bike, pick-up and delivery.
Veio Archaeological Park 130 km of track ranging from easy to difficult.
Rental, pick up, delivery and picnics can be arranged
Rome is not such a big city by modern standards but has the biggest historical city centre in the world. And it can all be walked!
This includes the places closest to us like the Selvotta Park and magic Etruscan cave, the ruined city of Veii and park (5-10 mins away), the magic Tuscia region around us, the lakes, forests stretching out to the Apennine mountains and National Parks rising up to 3,000 meters, which are 90 minutes away.
They say that 70% of the world’s art treasures are in Italy and half of those are in and around Rome. No single place in the world can match this for historical and cultural richness and importance and most of these places can be walked. The problem is how to fit it all in. We have divided this section into two parts (1) Rome City and (2) Rome Countryside. Roman Villa Silj sits exactly between these two.
In order to assist you with a walking or trekking plan, we offer you our “Exploration guide of Central Italy, from Roman Villa Silj” which gives you the places to visit and walk - city and country – in expanding concentric circles (ie closest first). We also recommend Georgina Masson’s Companion guide to Rome - the best guide book ever about Rome - and also the website Walkopedia, an online resource of walks . We can organize guided walks for you both in the country and city.
Few cities in the world have on their doorstep such a bewildering and varied selection of natural place: Seaside, Lakes, Hot springs and Mountains for trekking and skiing. We can organize excursions for our guests.
Here are some of them:
Hang gliding 1 hour away
Wind surfing 30 mins away
Rafting and tubing 50 mins away
Hot Springs 50 mins away
Yoga and Qi Gong here in the garden
Riding Club 5 mins. away
Tennis Club 5 mins.away
Gyms and fitness clubs 5 mins. away
Cycling and bike rental 10 mins away
Walking and trekking 5 mins away
Juggling with Anthony here in the garden (juggling, a technique for life, brinkmanship and relationships).
Bocce (bocce court 5 mins at the nearby pensioners club which can be used even late in the evening)
Villa Silj and its Lemniscati garden is a perfect place for family reunions with children. It is fenced, safe and away from main roads. The inner garden is about 1 hectare (2 acres) and is a great natural, playground for children, full of secrets, legends and fairy tales, like the life size sleeping elephant from the 1001 Nights, the Imperial Egg, the Pope’s butterfly cocoon.
In addition there is the swimming pool, table tennis and other childrens’ games.
Villa Silj is a venue for developing storytelling and communication skills. Bernard Anson works with Giovanna Conforto, distinguished storyteller. Here are some of our courses. Workshops need to be agreed in advance for groups of minimum 6 persons.
Storytelling for public speaking and "making a mark". Public speaking is widely considered one of the most terrifying experiences of a lifetime. Yet telling a story, an anecdote or speaking in public is the most effective way of leaving a mark in this raucous, over-communicative world. Remember the elevator pitch? You are in the same lift as someone important and you have 15 seconds to leave your mark. The good news is you don't, necessarily, have to say something relevant. But you do need to capture his interest. The other good news is that everyone has a storyteller within, waiting to be released. For storytelling is the oldest spontaneous human activity after primary needs have been met. Our job is to facilitate that function. For the storyteller's perspective is always different, interesting, captivating ...
Storytelling for management. for team building and work on the identity of a group, a service, a product. It is a tool for managers, business owners and anyone involved in branding; the subjective enhancement of images also makes it a useful technique for public speaking.
Storytelling for community building. A community building project is the best way of creating a group or team. We nourish identity, belonging and community cohesion through stories delivering projects that make a vital difference.
Storytelling for communication of science. Storytelling is a tool for effective communication of science and its complex concepts. The research in the relationship between storytelling and science is still young but has already yielded many fruits. Recent discoveries have revealed how the structure of scientific research and that of stories are substantially the same and the use of metaphor in science is necessary for both the description of models and for communication of complex phenomena.
Storytelling for heritage. Narrating territories, art, imagination and "folk" of a region is a natural function of storytelling. We help clients bridge tangible and intangible heritage and discover and interpret stories that are deeply rooted to the sense of place.
Storytelling for mental health and general healthcare. There is an growing need for storytelling in the health care field. There is a growing awareness that patients are complex human ecosystems with individual stories to tell and share. In particular there is a huge problem of mental ill health generated by the intensifying speed-stimuli-data of work-life conditions . Mental healing begins with changing perspective, best achieved by a combination of story and place. Villa Silj and its Lemniscati garden is the material expression of a different perspective - eccentric and poetic. Through its own 12 tales animating new personal tales, comes the recipe of "changing narrative" for healing. "Corpus sanum si mens sana".
Storytelling for content curatorship. Content curation is the process of gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. We help you create stories tailored to specific situation and needs.
Storytelling for learning foreign languages. We offer storytelling as a tool for learning foreign languages. Storytelling helps to activate the spoken language and master the ability to communicate and tell a story in a more coherent way. We offer workshops for students and teachers and mono/bilingual events.