Also known as the Sacred Wood, Parco dei Mostri is an extraordinary blend of uncontaminated nature, amazing stone sculptures and magical atmospheres in the heart of Tuscia, the geographic area in Northern Lazio which corresponds to the Province of Viterbo. (Discover the best places to visit in Tuscia, Viterbo)

The park was designed by the architect Pirro Ligorio and commissioned by Prince Vicinio Orsini in the 16th century. Bomarzo is just a few miles from Viterbo and therefore the Sacred Wood is a obligatory stop for tourists visiting the City of Popes.

Over the years several directors shot documentaries at the park, perhaps the most famous being from Michelangelo Antonioni, one of the great directors of Italian cinema. More recently, even the American director Terrence Malick used the park, in particular the ogre’s mouth, for a sequence of his masterpiece The Tree of Life.

This strange place is located on private land, but is open everyday from sunrise to sunset (tickets go for €10, €8 for children ages 4-13). I recommend a visit in springtime, the best season to immerse yourself in the wonders of the Sacred Wood.