House of the Owls

Museo della Casina delle Civette

The House of the Owls is a castle where true magic lives. The best place to visit is to pick a sunny day when the sunbeams are making a party coloring the stained glass windows of this amazing house that features a no less amazing history.

This Swiss house, built by the project of the architect Giuseppe Jappelli in 1840 in the heart of the Torlonia family villa for Alessandro Torlonia was originally intended to be a sort of a refuge from the main family house. In the beginning of the 20th century the house was radically rebuilt on the will of Alessandro's nephew, Giovanni Torlonia the younger who lived here till his death in 1938. A small building was turned into a magnificent house with huge windows, stanzas, porticoes and turrets decorated with majolica. Giovanni, who was fond of esoteric symbols, used the image of an owl in house and interior decorations, most probably this was the reason why the building is called the House of the Owls. The unique stained glass windows created in between 1908 and the 1930s and restored according to the drafts of the old masters are now the main attraction of this place.

After the Second World War the villa was sacked and the fire of 1991 left it heavily damaged. After the reconstruction in 1997 the museum of stained glass reopened its doors for visitors.

Address: Via Nomentana, 70
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 9 am – 7 pm, entry till 6.15; December 24, 31 9 am – 2 pm. Closed on Mon, December 25, January 1, May 1
How to reach: metro Bologna
Coordinates: 41.91418, 12.51298