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Villa Farnesina

Museums, Art and design
Villa Farnesina
Andrea Gennari

Villa Farnesina was built between 1508 and 1511 to a design by Baldassare Peruzzi as a pleasure palace and holiday home for the rich.

Villa Farnesina was built between 1508 and 1511 to a design by Baldassare Peruzzi as a pleasure palace and holiday home for the fabulously rich papal banker Agostino Chigi. Treasurer to Pope Julius II, Chigi was one of Raphael’s principal patrons. In its day the villa was stuffed to the rafters with great works of art, although many were later sold to pay off debts. Chigi was known for his extravagant parties, where guests had the run of the palace and the magnificent gardens. Just to make sure his guests knew that money was no object, he would have his servants toss the silver and gold plates on which they dined into the Tiber – into underwater nets, to be fished out later and used again.

The powerful Farnese family bought the villa and renamed it in 1577 after the Chigis went bankrupt. The stunning frescoes are homages to the pagan and classical world; the works on the ground-floor Loggia of Psyche were designed by Raphael but executed by his friends and followers, including Giulio Romano; according to local lore, the master himself was too busy dallying with his mistress, la fornarina (baker’s girl), to apply any more paint than was strictly necessary.

By: Time Out editors

Posted:

Venue name: Villa Farnesina
Contact:
Address: Via della Lungara, 230
Rome
00165 Roma RM
Opening hours: 9am-2pm Mon-Sat; 9am-5pm 2nd Sun of month.
Static map showing venue location