Castle Odescalchi in Santa Marinella

odescalchi santa marinella  - dimore storiche italiane

This charming property of the Odescalchi family is located north of Rome, on the Via Aurelia, in the old town of Santa Marinella, known as one of the loveliest seaside resorts of Lazio area. Located overlooking the sea in the oldest part of the village, the castle was part of the system of maritime defensive fortresses of the Holy See.
Important example of military defensive architecture, the fortress was used as a bulwark in defense of the Roman countryside from possible attacks, both of Saracens and pirates, maintaining its function through the many changes of ownership, from Vico Lords to the Anguillara, the Orsini, the Barberini families and the Hospital of the Holy Spirit in Sassia who owned it several times.

Once the requirements of protection of the coast were not needed anymore, at the end of nineteenth century, the castle, together with the Santa Marinella estate was auctioned and bought by Prince Baldassarre Odescalchi in 1887 for an amount close to three hundred thousand liras.

Around five hundred hectares dominated by the Castle with a few buildings: the church in front, still existing, the inn and some modest dwellings occupied by laborers and fishermen.

But the elevated position above the sea level, the exposure to the southeast, the protection of the coastal strip made by Tolfa mounts, the generally mild climate in all seasons, gave Prince Baldassarre, senator of the kingdom and great expert of art, the idea of creating around the castle one of the first modern resort centers, transforming the small fishermen’s village into an elegant élite seaside resort.

From those years, the residential function of the castle became predominant, and the castle was transformed into a comfortable mansion surrounded by a beautiful Mediterranean park.

Still now, walking the park of the Castle from the driveway, entering the courtyard, getting out and looking out over the sea, it is a fantastic sensory experience for all those who are lucky enough to visit this rare and precious corner of the Mediterranean landscape. The light, the breeze, the scent of the sea surround the gardens of a magical yet spontaneous atmosphere.

Thanks to the ideal microclimate, the many species of palm trees combine with botanicals essences typical of the Mediterranean area (privet, wild olive, Pittosporum, agaves).

Spring and summer offer blooming roses, agapanthus, plumbago, bougainvillea and wisteria with its characteristic purplish color. Extraordinarily unique is the presence within the courtyard of exceptionally large cactus plants, that Prince Baldassarre brought back from his travels in South America. Those beautiful cactuses give generously of nocturnal summer blooms.

Inside the courtyard of the castle you can admire the small private church wanted by the Barberini family at the end of the seventeenth century. The chapel, dedicated to St. Marina, is adorned with a precious white and blue glaze ceramic, where it appears a rare depiction of the saint who gave her name to the town.

castello odescalchi santamerinella  - dimore storiche italiane

Located along the Via Aurelia, the Odescalchi Castle in Santa Marinella stands on a promontory overlooking the sea, already known in ancient times for its strategic, natural and landscape features. Site of an Etruscan port first and then of the villa of jurist Ulpiano in Imperial Roman times, the place began to have its current appearance in the X-XI century, with the construction of an imposing watchtower still existing, designed to defend the coast from Saracen raids.

The territory owned by the Venerable Apostolic Chamber, in 1518 was given by Pope Innocent X to Constantine Comneno, Prince of Macedonia. The feud that later returned to the Apostolic Chamber, was transferred to the Hospital of Santo Spirito in Sassia and, under Pope Urban VIII Barberini (1623-1644) was given to Taddeo Barberini, nephew of the Pope and urban prefect.

The transformation of the fortress into a real fortified castle, with a square base fence and circular corner towers, dates back to the middle of the XV century, while in the Barberini period, and more precisely in 1692 with the architect Giovanni Battista Contini, there has been a further extension of the building and the construction of the chapel located inside the courtyard.

Probably built on an old place of devotion, the chapel is dedicated to St. Marina, Christian virgin who was martyred in Alexandria and whose cult was propagated by the Basilian monks around 1000, and from which derived the name of the village of Santa Marinella. On the altar you can admire a glazed terracotta, depicting the crucifixion with San Sebastian and Santa Marina, of exquisite manufacture.

In the eighteenth century the princess Costanza Barberini again transformed the castle into a Hospital of the Holy Spirit that she administered up to the end of 800, when it was purchased by Prince Baldassarre Odescalchi, an ancestor of the current owners.

Thanks to his foresight, also apparently following the advice of his friend Giuseppe Garibaldi, the prince started up a real plan, transforming the large estate in what became the present town of Santa Marinella.

In the fifties, as it is knowh, Santa Marinella became the holiday resort of cinema. Italian cinema lived the great experience of neo-realism, while the Americans landed at Cinecittà Studios, and built their great productions of historical argument. Totò, Alberto Sordi, Anna Magnani, Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Esther Williams now regulars of the town, attracted around them a large enthusiastic audience.

Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman spent in the village of Santa Marinella the happiest years of their marriage, and it was not uncommon meeting them with their children in the streets and small shops around the castle, or bathe together with Rock Hudson and Gregory Peck. Faruk and Narimane, rulers of Egypt, spent his golden exile in this elegant seaside resort, attracting the attention of newspapers around the world.

Today the castle is still the center of this small town on the sea, with his twenty-two kilometers of coast, its beautiful Art Nouveau villas and its notoriously favorable climate, still deserves the name of Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

matrimoni castello odescalchi  - dimore storiche italiane

Characterized by its strategic geographical location, completely surrounded by the sea and a few kilometers from Rome and from Fiumicino International Airport, the Odescalchi Castle in Santa Marinella is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion, surrounded by the love of family and friends.
For those who want to bring together in one place the wedding ceremony and reception, at the castle you can organise any kind of ceremony: Catholic ones in the pretty church of San Giuseppe al Porticciolo in front of the castle, or the official civil ceremony, thanks to the agreement with the City of Santa Marinella but also symbolic ceremonies and all other worships that allow the execution of the outdoor ceremony.
The property also offers support in the organization of all core and ancillary services necessary for the success of the event: from quality catering, to the choice of flowers and décor, musical entertainment, video and photography .

The terraces by the sea are the perfect spots for an aperitif waiting for the sunset, the agaves park, palms and pine trees with an intense and Mediterranean perfumes, sober and elegant interiors and the covered pavilion in the garden, welcome guests in an exclusive and romantic atmosphere and offer a variety of unique locations where to set the different moments of the event.

The working dinner, the conference, the institutional event are enhanced by both prestigious and practical settings.
The pavilion in the garden can accommodate up to 200 people seated with theater style layout or for a gala dinner, while the living room inside the castle with its comfortable sitting rooms and the bright Mediterranean Blue room, are perfect places for meetings with an informal and relaxed mood. All audio and video services are available on request.

The park of the castle and its large terraces are the perfect place for exhibition itineraries and various types of exhibitions, book presentations, concerts of classical or jazz music, cultural conferences.

Over the years the castle has been the movie set of many TV shows like Commissioner Rex (2008), Capri (second and third series 2008-2010), Squadra anti mafia 3 (2011), Everybody’s Revenge (2011), The two laws (2014).

Services :
Business Events Venues In Italy
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Movie Set

General Info

  • Swimming Pool :
  • Wellness SPA :
  • Facilities for Disabled People :
  • Wi-Fi :
  • Pets Allowed :
  • Park or Garden :

Events and Weddings

  • Available Halls : 3
  • Seats : 200

Movie Set

  • Outdoor :
  • Indoor :
  • Garden :
  • Swimming Pool :
  • Heavy Vehicles Allowed :
Castle Odescalchi in Santa Marinella

Region : Lazio

Province : RM

City : Santa Marinella

Address : Via Roma, 11

ZIP Code : 00058

Visit Website

Places of interest nearby:

A reception at the Castello permits guests to spend a few hours by the sea as well as allowing them to take advantage of the proximity of Rome, which can be reached by train in just over half an hour. For those who plan on staying in the area for a few days, we advise them not to miss out on a visit to the Etruscan archeological sites in the area, such as Cerveteri and Tarquinia.

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santa marinella castello  - dimore storiche italiane

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