Villa Farnesina, Rome

Raphael, Triumph of Galatea, 1511.  Villa Farnesina, Rome

Raphael, Triumph of Galatea, 1511. Villa Farnesina, Rome

New Year’s Eve in Rome.  We made another attempt to go into St. Peter’s Basilica but the line snaked around St. Peter’s Square.  I hoped to send a few postcards from the mobile postal truck/trailer that was parked in the Square but that was closed.  When we were in the Vatican Museum I could have sent some postcards but, d’oh!, I forgot my address book.  C’est la vie.

Our back up plan was to see Villa Farnesina.  We walked along the Tiber River towards the villa.  Looking at the car and foot traffic on the bridges that crossed the river and the walkways along the riverbanks, it reminded me of Paris and the Seine.  The buildings that line the river were the only giveaway that we weren’t in Paris, well, that and the absence of the Eiffel Tower.  There’s even Tiber Island home to a hospital which was once a temple dedicated to Asclepius to make you think of the Île Saint-Louis or the Île de la Cité.  

We entered the neighborhood of Trastevere where Villa Farnesina is located.  Agostino Chigi, a Sienese banker who was also treasurer to Pope Julius II, commissioned the villa as a summer home.  In 1577 the villa became possession of the Farnese family hence the name.

Approaching Villa Farnesina, Rome.

Approaching Villa Farnesina, Rome.

Every great home needs some decoration so why not commission Raphael to throw a few frescoes on the wall and ceiling?  There are other friezes and frescoes in the villa but the Raphaels were my favorite.  And now begins my barrage of photos of The Triumph of Galatea, 1511, Loggia of Cupid and Psyche, 1518, and the Hall of Perspectives, 1519 or 1528.  As long as you weren’t using a flash, security had no problem with picture taking.  Woo hoo!

The frescoes were amazing.  I loved the fruit and flower swags that separated the vaults and different figures.  Also I’d love to have a party like Cupid and Psyche.  Ahhh, another place I would move into right away.

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