Palazzo Massimo: Livia’s Garden

There was one thing in Palazzo Massimo that I looked forward to more than anything else. It was the room containing the frescos that I think of as Livia’s Garden. 

Livia was, as you probably know, the wife of the first emperor, Augustus. She owned a sumptuous “country” villa a few miles outside Rome, which contained a room used for banqueting. The room was decorated with frescos depicting a beautiful garden to make the people in the room feel like they were sitting outside. The frescos depict trees and plants and little birds against a blue sky. The garden even has a little wall around it, and the artist who made this beautiful work of art made the garden wall look a bit three dimensional.

I was in Palazzo Massimo in late 2021, and the museum was practically empty. Indeed, I had Livia’s Garden all to myself. It is magical — even more so when you can sit there quietly by yourself, turning every few minutes to focus on a different wall to savor the same view once enjoyed by Rome’s first Empress.

Here are several pictures so you can feast your eyes.  As you can see, no more words are needed.