The medieval town of Caprarola is famous for the residence more representative of the level of wealth and power of the noble Farnese familyThe palace was one of the many mansions built by the Farnese in their domains. Initially he had to have defensive characteristics as was common in the stately homes of the Lazio region between the fifteenth and sixteenth century. The design for a fortified residence was initially entrusted to Antonio da Sangallo the Younger by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese the Elder. Work began in 1530, but were suspended in 1546 due to the death of Sangallo. Cardinal Alexander the Younger, who began to turn in Caprarola, wanted to resume the project of his grandfather, so, in 1547, gave the site to Vignola that radically changed the original design. The building, while maintaining the original pentagonal fortification, it was turned into an imposing Renaissance palace, which became the summer residence of Cardinal and his court. Instead of the corner bastions architect inserted the large open terraces surrounding countryside, while at the center of the residence was built a circular courtyard with two floors, with the top slightly back. Vignola ordered the cutting of the hill with steps to isolate the building and, at the same time, integrate harmoniously with the surrounding area; It was also open a straight road in the center of the village below, so as to visually connect the building to the city and enhance its dominant position on the entire village.
Inside the sumptuous residence they worked the best painters and architects of the time. The themes of the frescoes were inspired by literary man Annibale Caro and made by Taddeo Zuccari, then replaced, his death (1566), his brother Federico Zuccari, by Onofrio Panvinio and Fulvio Orsini.
The villa are attached the "Farnese Gardens" (with the same name of the gardens of the family on the Palatine Hill in Rome), a splendid example of late Renaissance garden, created through a system of terracing behind the villa, perched on the hill from which rises the building and connected by Vignola with the residence through the bridges.