View from 
Villa Mondragone

The Venue

The venue of the conference is Villa Mondragone, a magnificent Renaissance villa near Frascati, on the hills south-east of Rome, originally the summer residence of the Altemps, a noble family of the papal court.

The villa was in a close relationship with science and culture in general since the beginning of its long history: it is believed that Pope Gregorio XIII signed there, in 1582, the seal Inter gravissimas pastoralis officii nostri curas, with which, following precise measurements of the astronomical year duration, he reformed the calendar to its present status.

A few years later, in 1611, it was chosen by Galileo Galilei as a target for his telescope from the Gianicolo hill in Rome, some 20 km away. The ability of the instrument to resolve the architectural details of the building was paramount for Galileo's admission to the Accademia dei Lincei.

In modern times it was also used, in 1932, by Guglielmo Marconi to perform the first ultrashort waves transmission experiments.

Nowadays the library of the Villa hosts a 10m-high Foucault's Pendulum, whose plane of oscillation rotates by 6 degress per minute.

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