A Jacobite Gazetteer - Lazio


The town of Caprarola is located about 50 kilometres north-west of Rome. The main reason for visiting the town today - as in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - is to see the magnificent art and architecture of Palazzo Farnese designed by Vignola. The town is easily accessible by bus from Viterbo. The main street Via Filippo Nicolai rises up through the town from Via della Repubblica towards Palazzo Farnese.

Palazzo Pettelli

Palazzo Pettelli entrance
Palazzo Pettelli entrance

In May 1725 King James III and VIII and his wife Queen Clementina visited the town.1 On the same trip they also visited Orvieto and Soriano nel Cimino.

James and Clementina stayed in Caprarola at the Palazzo Pettelli located at Via Filippo Nicolai 70 (on the left side as one climbs the street, just above the street on the right leading to Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele and the Chiesa della Madonna della Consolazione). The building now houses several apartments as well as a school (Istituto Maestre Pie Venerini).

Above the round arched doorway is a Latin inscription within an elaborate Baroque frame: 2

G. A. M. P.
To James III,
King of Great Britain,
and to Clementina, [his] wife,
august guests for fifteen days
in the Jubilee Year 1725:
Lorenzo Maria Pettelli, Doctor of Canon and Civil Laws,
raised [this] monument of grateful affection.

Palazzo Pettelli inscription
Palazzo Pettelli inscription

Palazzo Sebastiani

Palazzo Sebastiani
Palazzo Sebastiani

This palace is located at Via Filippo Nicolai, 19-25 (on the right side as one climbs the street, almost at the top, at the intersection with Via di Santa Maria). It was the home of the counts Sebastiani who administered the Bourbon (formerly Farnese) estate at Caprarola.

In 1740 the Prince of Wales (later King Charles III) was a guest at Palazzo Sebastiani.3

King Charles Emanuel IV of Sardinia (later King Charles IV) stayed in the same palace in 1803.4 An inscription on the first floor records the visit.5



1 James and Clementina were in Rome, according to their custom, for the Feast of the Ascension, May 17, 1725 (cf. Cracas 1212 (12 maggio, 1725): 26; their return to Rome "dopo essersi trattenute molti giorni alla Villeggiatura di Caprarola, ed altri Luoghi circonvieini" is noted in Cracas 1221 (2 giugno, 1725): 12.

2 I have surmised that the abbreviations in the last two lines (I. V. D. G. A. M. P.) represent the words "iuris utriusque doctor, grati animi monumentum posuit".

3 "Caprarola. Arte e Cultura, Storia e Natura". http://www.riservavico.it/storiadicaprarol.html.

4 Ibid. Another source ("Storia di Caprarola", http://www.viterbonelweb.it/provincia/caprar.htm) says that the visit of Charles IV was in 1809.

5 Luciano Passini, "Caprarola ", http://www.icscaprarola.it/territorio/caprarola.html. The inscription is presumably inside the building, since it is not on the street facade.

Image 1 (Palazzo Pettelli entrance): © Noel S. McFerran 2002.

Image 2 (Palazzo Pettelli inscription): © Noel S. McFerran 2002.

Image 3 (Palazzo Sebastiani): © Noel S. McFerran 2002.

This page is maintained by Noel S. McFerran (noel.mcferran@rogers.com) and was last updated July 18, 2010.
© Noel S. McFerran 2000-2010.