Fodor's Expert Review Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia

Villa Borghese House/Mansion/Villa Fodor's Choice
Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, Villa Borghese, Villa Borghese, Piazza del Popolo, and Flaminio, Rome, Italy.

The world's most outstanding collection of Etruscan art and artifacts is housed in Villa Giulia, built around 1551 for Pope Julius III. Among the team called in to plan and construct the villa were Michelangelo and fellow Florentine Vasari. Most of the actual work, however, was done by Vignola and Ammannati. The villa's nymphaeum—or sunken sculpture garden—is a superb example of a refined late-Renaissance setting for princely pleasures. No one knows precisely where the Etruscans originated, but many scholars maintain they came from Asia Minor, appearing in Italy about 2000 BC, and creating a civilization that was a dazzling prelude to the ancient Romans. Among the most striking pieces are the terra-cotta statues, such as the Apollo of Veii and the serenely beautiful Sarcophagus of the Spouses. Dating to 530–500 BC, this couple (or Sposi) look at the viewer with almond eyes and archaic smiles, suggesting an openness and joie de vivre rare in Roman art. Also... READ MORE

The world's most outstanding collection of Etruscan art and artifacts is housed in Villa Giulia, built around 1551 for Pope Julius III. Among the team called in to plan and construct the villa were Michelangelo and fellow Florentine Vasari. Most of the actual work, however, was done by Vignola and Ammannati. The villa's nymphaeum—or sunken sculpture garden—is a superb example of a refined late-Renaissance setting for princely pleasures. No one knows precisely where the Etruscans originated, but many scholars maintain they came from Asia Minor, appearing in Italy about 2000 BC, and creating a civilization that was a dazzling prelude to the ancient Romans. Among the most striking pieces are the terra-cotta statues, such as the Apollo of Veii and the serenely beautiful Sarcophagus of the Spouses. Dating to 530–500 BC, this couple (or Sposi) look at the viewer with almond eyes and archaic smiles, suggesting an openness and joie de vivre rare in Roman art. Also look for the cinematic frieze from a later temple (480 BC) in Pyrgi, resembling a sort of Etruscan Elgin marbles in terra-cotta. The exhibition of Etruscan jewelry, as well as the beautiful gardens, definitely make it worth a visit.

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House/Mansion/Villa Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Piazzale Villa Giulia 9
Rome, Latium  00196, Italy

06-3226571

villagiulia.beniculturali.it

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €8, Closed Mon.

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