The Sacro Bosco di Bomarzo
The Sacro Bosco di Bomarzo is the oldest sculpture park of the Modern world, built between 1550 and 1581 by Prince Vicino Orsini. Animated by a desire to transform the solitude of rural life, he began to shape the huge boulders of peperino, the local volcanic rock, scattered in the territory below his palace. Vicino is one of the first to receive the original edition of “L’Idea del Theatro” by Giulio Camillo and so he starts a work of sublime spatialization of the Theatro. The prince gives shape to an initiatory and enigmatic path, a symbolic labyrinth sprinkled with scenic objects, theatrical props, which faithfully reproduce a selection of Giulio Camillo's images, bewitching the general observer and enchanting the hermetic initiates. At the end of the sixteenth century, in conjunction with the Counter-Reformation and the beginning of the Inquisition, the hermetic doctrines of pagan and neo-Platonic derivation no longer found a place in Europe. When Giordano Bruno was burnt in Rome in 1600, the era of cults and mystical traditions, often distant if not divergent from the ecclesiastical credo, came to an end. The Sacro Bosco is abandoned, becoming a " rocky" land, not suitable for cultivation. Only three centuries later it will be re-acknowledged for its unique value, attracting scholars, artists and intellectuals from all over the world. Given its esoteric and intentionally mysterious nature, and the reluctance of its creator in revealing the purpose and design of his project, the Sacro Bosco has been subject to multiple different interpretations. Following fifteen years of study of the Sacro Bosco di Bomarzo, Professor Antonio Rocca, has broken through the veil of Maya that concealed the original intent of Vicino Orsini, finding the root of the mystery in the "L'Idea del Theatro" by Giulio Camillo. The path through the Sacro Bosco di Bomarzo is the one taken by the initiate and it is structured in four levels: the Map, the World, the Earth, the Eye. Just like a Dantesque iter, the path is entered through a dark forest, to then ascend and complete the journey in the highest, most open and brightest point of the park. At its end, at the peak of the mystical pyramid, the initiate realizes that he himself is God.