VILLA PAULUCCI MERLINI IN SELBAGNONE
Built by Marquis Cosimo and his brother, Cardinal Camillo Paulucci Merlini, Villa Paulucci is one of the most important examples of late-Baroque architecture in Romagna. Built between 1735 and 1767 and based on a plan by the Franciscan monk Ferdinando da Bologna, formerly Vincenzo Dal Buono (1704-1784), the villa stands in an estate near Selbagnone that once belonged to a noble family who owned it until the 1970s. Externally, the building features a large portal topped by a wrought iron “basket-type” balcony, while inside the ornamental embellishments are in a style typical of the late-Baroque period of the Bolognese school. Worthy of note is the decoration of the large vault in the main hall, which shows the Allegory of the Seasons (1767) and is by the Forlì-born figure painter Giuseppe Marchetti (1722-1801) and the quadrature painter brother Ferdinando da Bologna. The walls of the same room bear the two coats of arms of the Paulucci family, Counts of Calboli, and the Marquises Merlini. The ceiling of the dining room, once used as a small gallery for the portraits of the noblemen and women who lived in the villa, recaptures the mythological theme of a “small Olympus” and is by Forlì-born artist Giacomo Zampa (1731-1808). The building is surrounded by a large park with age-old trees, including imposing Lebanon cedars and a rare Ginkgo.