The “Possessione di Miralfiore”(“Watch the flower”Estate), in the outskirts of the city, became a Della Rovere property in 1559, when Guidobaldo II bought it from the Court Butler Pier Simone Bonamini. The building and the gardens which existed at that time were completely restructured by architetcs Bartolomeo Genga and Filippo Terzi.
The way this garden appeared at the Della Rovere times can be guessed watching a 1626 drawing by Francesco Mingucci: the great rectangular “Fountain garden”was the pivotal point of the complex. The most characteristic element was a no longer existing quadrangular pergola placed along its whole perimeter. It was a promenade covered with plants, held by a wooden arched scaffolding built in classical style. All around laid the other parts of the green composition which included two little still existing brick terraces, designed as secret gardens. The abundance of water everywhere in the garden, the niches, the rustic decorations and the little woods, joined in giving the place the atmosphere of a nymphaeum by the strong manneristic taste.
After the Della Rovere age, both the villa and the gardens were owned by several noble families, and were finally bought by the Apostolic Holy Seal, which gave them in perpetual lease to the Albani princes. Since 1993 the villa belongs to the FIAM industrial group, which made it its representative headquarters and performed extensive restructuration.
At the centre of the garden there are fountains, several species of trees, including a gingko biloba which in autumn loses bright yellow leaves, little concretions of shells and a chapel, dating from the beginning of the XX century and decorated in a middle ages style. In the garden’s orangery the latest FIAM projects are on display, and a liberty iron spiral staircase leading to the top of a turret. Even though the most downstream part of the garden doesn’t exist anymore, and its perimeter has changed because service buildings and a chapel have been built, the general design is still intact (the garden portion where the fountain was placed is still recognizable, being marked by six rectangular compartments designed by means of boxwood hedges) and is one of the most important examples of historical gardens in the region.