"The world's most expensive residence"
The Casino (or Villa) Aurora, located on the Pincio Hill in the historic center of Rome, is the last remnant of the sprawling suburban garden property created in 1621 by Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, the nephew of Pope Gregory XV (1621-1623). Cardinal Ludovisi transformed the modest hunting lodge into a showcase of art and culture. He had the ceilings of many of the rooms painted with mythological, allegorical, and landscape scenes by leading artists of the early 17th century, such as Pomarancio, Paul Bril, Viola, Domenichino, Guercino, and even Caravaggio—in fact, this is the only ceiling that Caravaggio painted in his career, making the property truly unique. Finally, he purchased a Renaissance-era marble statue of the ancient Greek god Pan which is described in the cardinal’s official inventory as an original work by Michelangelo, with a purchase price to match. Your guide to the history, art, and lore of the Casino Aurora and the Boncompagni Ludovisi family is Her Serene Highness Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi.
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