Within the grounds of one of Rome’s most beautiful neo-Classical masterpieces, the Villa Torlonia, lies a magnificent piece of surreal architecture that seems in parts out of place, but entirely perfect against the green and wooded parkland in which it sits. In fact, the translated name of the ‘Casina delle Civette‘ is rather fitting for the trees and the wood that surrounds the building. It’s called the ‘House Of The Owls‘.

View of the Casina della Civette - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome

History Of The Owls House

Originally built in 1840, it was designed as a refuge from the main – and more formal – Villa Torlonia in the style of a Swiss holiday home on the opposite side of the park where the members of the resident Torlonia family could hide away and relax over the course of an evening with friends.

Over the course of the following 80 years, the building saw many changes to not only it’s interior, but also to the exterior, with the addition of turrets, porticos and very large stained glass windows on every floor with no two alike.

Upwards angle of the Casina delle Civette - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome

Inside, Outside

On the occasion we arrived to see the building it was a little late in the day to gain admission to the building itself, but there was time enough to circle around it, underneath the portico and under the wooden corridor that connects the main building to a connected annex alongside – and we couldn’t have been happier.

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The disappearing sun made for a really interesting light to take pictures, and we really couldn’t have asked for a better subject matter to take shots of so we really have to thank our local living friends for taking us to such an incredibly special architectural find in Rome.

Brickwork rooftop against a clear blue sky - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome
View of the portico under orange sunlight - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome

Delight In The Detail

For those who really like to stand and stare at the details, Casina delle Civette is just perfect and we both found ourselves doing just that, managing to only bump into people once or twice as we circled around with our eyes looking up and through the lens of the camera for photos we can’t help but want to share with you now.

Detailed bring work in the archway - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome
A lantern on the corner - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome
Close up of the lantern bracket - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome
Part of the archway - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome
An unusual brick chimney - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome
Unusual corridor up the building - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome
A steel snake motif - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome
Steel iron bars shaped to look like twigs - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome

Ruins of Rome

It’s a great building to visit and we’d highly recommend visiting if you’re going to be in Rome for more than just a passing visit of a few days as, of course, there’s just so much to see in Rome – but if you do have the time and what you see is to your liking then be sure to check out not only the House of the Owls, but also the Villa Torlonia and the other ruins in the park which have been unearthed in recent years (which you’ll see a glimpse of below).

Villa Torlonia under twilight light - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome
Ancient ruins in the park - Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, Rome

Location

Museum of Casina delle Civette
Via Nomentana, 70
Roma
Italy

Have you visited the House of the Owls?