Villa Aurelia

Close to Porta S.Pancrazio and the Vigna Farnese, Villa Aurelia is a marvellous historical residence that dominates Rome from above.


Villa Aurelia is a breathtaking structure of the American Academy in Rome. In the past it was also known as Villa Farnese, Villa Borbone, Villa Giraud, Villa Savorelli, Villa Heyland because of the owners who have succeeded one another over the years.

Today it is one of the most prestigious locations for events and weddings. Brides and grooms adore the efficiency of its staff and the beauty of its surroundings.

The property is located on top of the Janiculum, a Roman hill, which overlooks the right bank of the Tiber. This breathtaking place in the capital is known for its beautiful promenade, from which you can enjoy one of the most evocative views of Rome's historic centre. On the Janiculum you can see corners of the capital with a great historical value: the church of Sant'Onofrio, built in 1939, the Garibaldi Ossuary, surrounded by a phenomenal English garden, the various busts of prominent personalities of Italian history, including Garibaldi himself, and much more.

This is the best place to enjoy wonderful Rome from a different perspective. The most famous monuments, as well as the Tiber River, can be seen from here and make for some fantastic photos. The bride and groom in the foreground and the fabulous capital as a backdrop will provide unforgettable images to share with your guests.

The history of Villa Aurelia

TheVilla Aurelia dates back to the early 1600s, when the Cardinal in pectore Girolamo Farnese, governor of Rome, ordered its construction on the top of the Janiculum Hill, along the Aurelian Wall. It is located near Porta S.Pancrazio and the Vigna Farnese, once the residence of Paul III.

The villa remained in the hands of the Farnese family until 1731 when the last Duke of Parma died and the Farnese estate fell to the Bourbons of Naples. It remained in their hands until 1800, when disputes over payment of rent were resolved with the purchase of the villa by the Giraud family, descendants of ambassadorial cardinals. During this period, the structure had suffered from the negligence of its owners and was not in good condition. As a result, its value had plummeted irreparably.

It was bought by Count Alessandro Savorelli of Forlì, owner of a candle factory. He undertook the renovation of the property with the support of his father-in-law, the architect Virginio Vespignani. Due to its strategic position, which allowed control of the battlefield, it became Garibaldi's headquarters in the middle of the century. It was almost totally destroyed by bombing. In 1885 the villa was bought by Mrs Clara Jessup Heyland, an American and the wife of a British officer who had become an invalid during the war in India. It was Mrs Heyland herself who named the villa Aurelia. During this period, the structure experienced a renewed splendour. It took on the appearance of what we know today and the garden was tinged with the colours of flowers and nature.

The villa came into the hands of the American Academy in Rome at the beginning of the 20th century. Throughout the century it was cared for and restored, until it became as we know it today: a marvellous historical residence that dominates Rome from above. Everyone loves this breathtaking place: the villa is in fact very popular for conventions, concerts, business meetings, recreational events, but above all weddings.

Getting married at Villa Aurelia

The structure stands imposingly atop the Janiculum Hill, with its elegant, light-coloured and beautifully decorated façade. However, to be truly amazed, you only need to explore it both inside and out.

Villa Aurelia offers an evocative view of Rome and this is probably its real strength. Getting married at Villa Aurelia means savouring the capital of Italy and choosing a breathtaking backdrop for your wedding. Bride, groom and guests adore the tranquil, old-fashioned atmosphere of this venue and who can blame them!

Villa Aurelia stands imposingly in the midst of a beautiful, well-kept and elegant English garden. The bride and groom love to pose here to immortalise their magical moment. At the request of the staff, you can have your wedding ceremony here and enjoy the view. No matter what the theme of the wedding, the garden will fulfil all expectations. 

You can request a gazebo, a white carpet and chairs to accommodate all your guests. At Villa Aurelia it is possible to bring many people, as the gardens are very spacious and comfortable. The location is suitable for all seasons, but certainly in spring and summer it is at its best, thanks to the warmth of the central Italian sun.

In the evening, as darkness falls, the gardens and the facade of the villa are illuminated to provide an even more magical atmosphere. The city lights up with wonderful dancing lights and the Tiber reflects them. A view like this remains in the mind of anyone visiting the Villa Aurelia and is truly breathtaking.

The interior spaces are also very spacious and versatile. They can always be rented exclusively, so you can enjoy your event in peace and quiet. Your guests can choose for themselves not only how to set up the rooms, but also what to eat, who to invite for entertainment and much more.

The interior rooms are skilfully decorated and unique, with bas-reliefs on the walls and beautiful frescoes. The bride and groom's first ball will be reminiscent of the great events of 19th century aristocracy, with elegant dancing and violin music in the background. Every bride can feel like a princess at Villa Aurelia and live her enchanting dream with her prince charming.

After the ceremony and reception, it is possible to stay in the Villa, as it has sixteen beds divided into eight rooms on the upper floors. In the garden there is also a swimming pool and large terraces with a cooking area equipped with a barbecue to enjoy a more informal moment after the wedding.

So, if you are a married couple looking for a wedding venue in the centre of Rome, Villa Aurelia is the right choice. It can be easily reached by your own or public transport and even on foot, as it is only 20 minutes from the Vatican.

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