The Sacro Bosco, best known as Parco dei Mostri, is considered the last mystery of the Italian Renaissance, and it still fascinates scholars.
According to a legend, the place was built by the Turks taken prisoner in the Battle of Lepanto (see the Dragon wings with the typical crescent moon symbol). Despite being a pure fantasy tale, this story is probably based on a
misunderstanding involving Vicino and Virginio Orsini, the last one being the governor of Civitavecchia and commander of the Papal Galleys; another version of the event mentions Vicino’s son, Orazio, who actually died during that battle.
Among the hypothesis, it is important not to undervalue the wit, culture, and eccentricity that characterized Vicino Orsini, who surely was the main perpetrator of the park. The brave leader suffering from gout and kidney
stones spent the last years of his life in this place. In the shade of prosperous trees, among the gurgling fountains (which gave him so much to do to ensure their proper functioning!) and the statues that recall his humanistic culture, Vicino found peace and serenity.
It seems that the author was inspired by the numerous Etruscan finds and fancifully shaped rocks scattered through the woods near Bomarzo. When Vicino died, the Sacro Bosco was abandoned and forgotten for more than three centuries.