It had been more than 20 years(!) since my last visit to Villa Giulia, Rome’s great museum dedicated to the Etruscans. A friend mentioned the museum was reorganized and spruced up a few years ago, and that it was terrific. She was right (thank you, ocpony!)
The villa itself is a knockout. Built by Pope Julius III in 1551-53, it was designed by Vignola to be the Pope’s “quick get away” house. The pale gold facade proudly announces that a man of great wealth and taste once lived here.
The interior is even more attractive than the exterior. The palazzo has a semicircular portico, covered with magnificent frescoes that take you back to ancient Rome.
The architecture, in the Mannerist style, is simply lovely.
One of the architectural highlights of the villa is the two-story nymphaeum (large picture at the top of this post). Designed by Bartolomeo Ammannati, with input from Giorgio Vasari, it’s a multi-story opus. One can only dream of how magnificent it would be to dine here, under the summer stars, to the soft sounds of the water feature, the Fontana dell’Acqua Vergine.