Villa Giulia Museum : Michelin's recommendations
Pope Julius III, who reigned from 1550 to 1555, enjoyed the refined pleasures of the Renaissance. He ordered this Summer villa to be built in 1551, from Vignole, an architect who designed a sober and bare facade, then a first interior courtyard equipped with a semicircular portico (fine plant fresco on vault). Beyond this, Bartolomeo Ammannati erected an exquisite Mannerist set: nymphaeum amongst rocks, false grottos, caryatids and ancient sculptures, in front of a loggia flanked by a very harmonious staircase in a semicircle. Add pleasant gardens and you end up with the setting of a museum that is totally dedicated to Etruscan Art and Civilisation. The collection's main exhibits are bronze pieces found in the Bisenzio tombs, Veii sculptures (terra-cotta Apollo and Heracles, statue of Apollo and his mother Leto, works perhaps by a certain Vulca) and, above all, the marvellous Sarcophagus of the Sposi, dating from the 6th century B.C. It is one of Etruscan terra-cotta sculpture's major masterpieces, is strikingly realistic, but it is mainly the enigmatic "Etruscan smile" that fires the imagination, with its vaguely ironic serenity and which you will remember for a long time. Among the many exhibits, you will also note the jewels of the Castellani collection and partial reconstructions of the pediments of the Faleri Veteres temples. This museum could be the perfect end to a trip following Etruscan footsteps leading to Volterra, Orvieto, Tarquinia, Veii and the Cerveteri necropolis !
- Address : Piazzale di Villa Giulia 9 I - 00196 Roma00196Roma
- Phone : 06 322 6571