Serra Moresca: Alhambra in Rome

Another unusual museum, Serra Moresca, has opened in Rome. After a lengthy restoration, on December 8, 2021, on the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God in Rome, the Serra Moresca greenhouse and the Mauritanian Tower were opened to the public.

The history of museum Serra Moresca

Serra Moresca and the Mauritanian Tower were designed in 1839 by the Venetian architect Giuseppe Jappelli and are part of the overall complex of Villa Torlonia. This park ensemble resembles the architectural style of the Spanish-Moorish residence of the Alhambra in Granada (Spain).

After a long desolation and destruction, after the Second World War, in 1978 Villa Torlonia, together with the architectural buildings on it, was acquired by the municipality of Rome and turned into a public park. Gradual restorations began and its individual parts were opened in museums.

For a long time, a visit to this unusual Serra Moresca museum inside was inaccessible due to reconstruction work. In total, about 4,900,000 euros were invested in the restoration.

The last restoration and design work today was directed by the architect Maria Cristina Tullio, under the direction of the Capitoline Office of Cultural Heritage and Material Execution Zètema Progetto Cultura.

A visit to Serra Moreschi begins with a stately peperino garden pavilion, with cast iron, polychrome windows, and a fountain in the center. Inside is a chic collection of palms, agaves, pineapples, and aloe. Then you will walk through an artificial cave ("Nymphae Loci", the place of the Nymph) with waterfalls and lakes inhabited by water lilies and lotus flowers. Finally, there is a view of the Tower from below, which is characterized by large windows with colored glass.

Opening hours and cost

Thus, from today, Serra Moresca will become part of the museum network of Villa Torlonia and will be open to the public from 10:00 to 16:00 from Tuesday to Sunday (until 31 March), and from 1 April to 30 September it will be open to the public from 10:00 to 19:00 (with summer closing in July and August). A full ticket costs 4 euros, a concession ticket 3 euros, and can be purchased at the Serra Moresca box office or at the Casino Nobile box office.