THE PALACE LOMELLINO D’ARAGONA
The Palace Lomellino D’Aragona is an interesting representation of the newly discovered beauties in Viterbo. The building is not mentioned in any of the classic tourist guides perhaps because its history is untraceable. This palace is in via Cardinal La Fontaine. The family archive is lost, but recently a thesis at the Faculty of Cultural Heritage of Dr. Trojer reconstructed the historical events and tried to attribute the existing frescoes inside. The client is more likely to be Plinio Caccia, a notary from Orte who resided in Viterbo since 1584. He also wrote a book of rhymes. From the sources of the archive he is a versatile person of Viterbo Renaissance holder of various offices and honors, and he was referred to as the patronage of the Great Hall. Following the economic movements of the Caccia family is possible to date the first decorative work in 1595. During the centuries the Caccia family married into the Lomellino family. In 1808 Maria Anna Lomellino married Carlo D’Alfonso of Aragon Venafri (Capua). Since that date the building took the name of Lomellino D’Aragona. In the nineteenth century, Giacomo D’Aragona married Caterina Gavotti and in the Great hall you can see their coat of arms. The Palace has elements of the architectural style Sangallo: square windows round-arched loggias, blind windows, two toned elements and cornices. Dr Trojer attributed frescoes to Antonio Tempesta. Today the building is owned by the family Carnevalini.
Palazzo Lomellino D’Aragon has a façade that has a portal of entry with a rustic arch and on the keystone hangs the Lomellino family crest. The building is irregular in plan and incorporated into a number of other buildings and has changed over the centuries. The floor is now used by several local business. Eight windows on the main floor and the same on the second floor give rise to chiaroscuro. Several factors suggest the building’s exterior architectural code Sangallo, which we also find other instances of in the province of Viterbo.
The inside of the palace has the same organization as the plan on the first floor while the second floor and ground floor have been modified and refurbished. The building has several rooms with frescoes on the main floor. The name of each room is based on the inventory of the notary Pietro Anselmi. Going up the stairs and turning left leads into the Great Hall, frescoed with various scenes from the life of Hercules, a theme dear to the history of Viterbo referencing the source of the city from the temple that Hercules built at the point where today stands the cathedral. If you go north you can access two other decorated rooms. The “room of the Library” has reliefs depicting Roman gods and the stories of Jason, the iconographic graphic choice is explained because Jason’s life has connections with the life of Hercules, both travelers fighting animals like the lion and the boar. From the Great Hall to the east leads to the “room of the Way” with no ornaments, they probably disappeared. To the west there are four rooms, the first called “room of the paintings” with perspectives and views of buildings of architectural monuments, followed by a room covered by a vault with fake stucco putty and a central square with a lobed lake landscape. In the next room are in the middle of the octagon after a fake landscape and architectural elements on the doors of the conch. In the last room of the west is still the central landscape in multi-colors and later cherubs enclosed in circles on the ceiling. The main hall is the Great Hall, it comes with wooden ceiling beams painted which were badly damaged by water seepage. The walls are divided into three zones, below are fake marble mirrors framed in red and blue, in the middle there are the pictures showing the story of Hercules, the third band is occupied by a crest in the center accompanied by a pair of standing cherubs. On the short walls the Seasons are represented on columns and walls divided by long scenes of hunting and fishing. At the center of the long wall are two of the cardinal virtues, Justice and Fortitude, seated at the sides of the shield Lomellino.
U.TROJER, Affreschi inediti del Palazzo Lomellino D’Aragona, Tesi di laurea di Conservazione dei Beni Culturali, Università della Tuscia di Viterbo, AA 1998/99