Kathleen Lewis

Bomarzo : A Day Trip from Rome

Unleash your imagination in the surreal Park of the Monsters in Bomarzo, a unique day trip from Rome.

Day Trip
Surreal Park of the Monsters in Bomarzo


If you are looking for a unique and whimsical day trip from Rome, you might want to visit Bomarzo, a small town in the province of Viterbo that is home to the famous Park of Monsters. This park is a fantasy garden filled with bizarre and fascinating sculptures of mythical creatures, animals, and human figures. The park was created in the 16th century by Prince Pier Francesco Orsini, who wanted to express his grief and sorrow after the death of his wife Giulia Farnese. The park is also known as the Sacred Grove, because it was inspired by ancient mythology and symbolism.

Bomarzo is about 80 km away from Rome and it takes about an hour and a half to get there by car or public transport. You can easily spend a few hours exploring the park and admiring its artistic and mysterious atmosphere. You can also visit the charming medieval town of Bomarzo, which has a castle, a church, and some lovely views of the surrounding countryside.

Getting There

By Public Transport

If you want to reach Bomarzo by public transport, you have two options: train or bus. The train is faster and more comfortable, but it requires a change in Orte or Viterbo. The bus is cheaper and more direct, but it runs less frequently and takes longer.

By Car

If you have your own car or you want to rent one, you can drive to Bomarzo from Rome in about an hour and a half. The fastest route is via the A1 motorway, which connects Rome with Florence. You need to exit at Attigliano and follow the signs for Bomarzo. The toll fee is around 5 euros. Alternatively, you can take the SS675 road, which is more scenic but slower. You need to exit at Soriano nel Cimino and follow the signs for Bomarzo.

Parking is available near the entrance of the park for a fee of 2 euros. You can also park in the town center of Bomarzo for free and walk for about 15 minutes to reach the park.

Top Attractions at Bomarzo

The Park of Monsters

The Park of Monsters, also known as the Sacred Grove, is the main reason to visit Bomarzo. This surreal garden is filled with bizarre and grotesque sculptures of mythical creatures, animals, and human figures. The park was commissioned by Pier Francesco Orsini, a 16th-century nobleman who was devastated by the death of his wife and the horrors of war. He hired the architect Pirro Ligorio and the sculptor Simone Moschino to create a unique and shocking landscape that would express his grief and his state of mind.

Some of the most impressive sculptures include a giant ogre with an open mouth that serves as an entrance to a small room, a leaning house that creates an optical illusion, a dragon fighting with lions and dogs, a whale emerging from the ground, and an elephant carrying a castle on its back. The park also features a Roman temple dedicated to Orsini's wife, Giulia Farnese, and several inscriptions with mysterious messages and riddles.

The Park of Monsters is open all year round from 8:30 am to sunset. The entrance fee is 10 euros for adults and 8 euros for children (4-13 years old). You can explore the park at your own pace, but there are no guides or audio guides available. You can buy a booklet with some information and a map at the visitor's center.

The Medieval Town of Bomarzo

Bomarzo is a charming medieval town that overlooks the valley of the Tiber river. It has a rich history and culture that dates back to the Etruscan times. You can admire its ancient walls, its castle, its churches, and its picturesque streets. Some of the highlights include the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, which houses a painting by Antonio da Viterbo, the Church of San Anselmo, which has a beautiful frescoed ceiling, and the Orsini Palace, which was the residence of Pier Francesco Orsini and his family.

Bomarzo is also known for its traditional festivals and events, such as the Carnival, the Feast of San Anselmo, and the Chestnut Festival. You can also enjoy its local cuisine, which features dishes such as gnocchi with meat sauce, wild boar stew, and chestnut cake.

More Attractions

Activities and Experiences

Hiking and Biking

Bomarzo and its surroundings offer many opportunities for hiking and biking enthusiasts. You can explore the natural beauty of the area, such as the Cimini Mountains, the Lake Vico, and the Marturanum Regional Park. You can also discover some hidden gems, such as ancient ruins, waterfalls, caves, and villages.

Art and Culture

If you are interested in art and culture, you can visit some of the nearby towns that have a rich artistic heritage. For example, you can go to Viterbo, which is the capital of the province and has a medieval center with many monuments and museums. You can also go to Civita di Bagnoregio, which is a stunning hilltop town that is accessible only by a footbridge. Or you can go to Orvieto, which is famous for its Gothic cathedral and its underground city.

Lesser Known Stories and Interesting Facts about Bomarzo

Here are some lesser known stories and interesting facts about Bomarzo that you might not find in the guidebooks: