Farnesina Villa (Villa della Farnesina)

"Farnesina Villa (Villa della Farnesina)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 12th June 2011

Farnesina Villa (Villa della Farnesina)

The Farnesina Villa (Villa della Farnesina) called the Farnesina is situated on Via della Lungara, opposite the Corsini Palace. This graceful Renaissance Villa was built by B.Peruzzi in 1508-1520, as the suburban residence of rich banker Agostino Chigi, patron of Raphael. Here he entertained pope Leo X, cardinals, ambassadors, princes, artists and men of letters. At a celebrated banquet in a loggia overlooking the Tiber, as a demonstration of Chigi's extravagance silver and golden plates and dishes were thrown into the river after every course (but there was a net in the river prepared specially to recover them).

Villa Farnesina Opposite of Corsini Palace - image 1.jpg Villa Farnesina and garden Opposite of Corsini Palace - image 2.jpg
After Agostino Chigi's death, the villa was bought by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (from whom the Villa takes its name). It passed to the Bourbon family in 1714; and finally a long lease of the villa at ground rent was given to the Spanish Ambassador Bermudez de Castro, Duke of Ripetta, who later redeemed it.

In 1590 the villa passed to the Farnese, who projected to build a bridge to connect it with their Palazzo Farnese on the other side of the river. Through the Farnese it was inherited by the Bourbons of Naples in 1731, then, in 1861, it was granted in emphyteusis, but redeemed to the Spanish prince Bermudez de Castro, who's inheritors sold it to the State in 1927.

The Italian State bought the Villa from the Duke's heirs and in 1928 it was destined to become the home of the Reale Accademia d'Italia. After the suppression of the Accademia d'Italia in 1944, the villa became the property of the Lincei Academy, which, by law, had succeeded the suppressed Academy. Today it hosts the representation of the Lincei Academy and the Gabineto dei Disegni e delle Stampe (Department for Drawings and Prints).

Floor Plan of Farnesina Villa

The villa is made of three parts; the painted decoration was carried out between 1510 and 1519.

Ground floor

On the ground floor is the festive Gallery of Cupid and Psyche, which ceiling has famous frescoes illustrating the legend of Apuleius. The design was provided by Raphael, and the paintings executed by his pupils G.Romano, Giovanni da Udine, G.F.Penni and Raffaellino del Colle.

In Sala della Galatea the ceiling is frescoed by B.Peruzzi with the constellations forming the horoscope of A.Chigi throught the mythological episodes and heroes. Other paintings with scenes from Ovid's "Metamorphoses", "Polyphemus" and colossal monochrome "Head of a young man" are by S.del Piombo. There is a legend about the "Head of a young man" born from the fact that the style and form of its execution were very similar to the ones of Michelangelo. Thus, according to this legend, Michelangelo visited the Villa incognito and designed a sketch of this painting. But the dominating composition of the hall is the celebrated "Galatea", a superb work by Raphael, modeled from beautiful lover of Chigi, Imperia. The other scenes were added in the 17th century by G.Dughet.

Sala del Fregio contains a beautifully painted mythological frieze by B.Peruzzi.

Salone delle Prospettive, a masterpiece by B.Peruzzi, is the drawing room with charming trompe l'oeil views of Rome and mythological subjects on the walls. The ceiling is made of polychrome wooden lacunars. The palace was sacked as the rest of Rome in 1527 by Landsknechts, who left the inscription on the frescoes of this hall:" Landsknechts made the pope run away".

Sala delle Nozze di Alessandro e Rossana, a bedroom, contains frescoes by Sodoma.
painting inside the Villa Farnesina.jpg painting inside the Farnesina Villa (Villa della Farnesina).jpg

First floor

A light and elegant staircase leads from the entrance hall to the first floor and into the wonderful Salone delle Prospettive designed by Peruzzi. Here the walls seem to open on to shining landscapes, framed by columns, and an amazing sense of reality is achieved. A frieze runs along the upper part of the walls, depicting mythological scenes; it is attributed to a painter of the school of Raffaello, probably Giulio Romano. Over a great fireplace on the left is to be seen the Forge of Vulcan, attributed by some to Peruzzi and by others to the Roman school. Beside this fireplace three doors open off into the National Collection of Prints. During recent restorations, an ancient "graffiti", in German gothic, came to light between the columns. It marks the passage of the Lansquenets and states: "1528 - why shouldn't I laugh: the Lansquenets have put the Pope to flight".

Second floor

On the second floor is the Gabinetto Nazionale dei Disegni e delle Stampe(Print room or Department for Drawings and Prints) founded in 1895 on the base of Corsini Collection, with one of the richest collection of prints and drawings in the world, exposed in a series of beautiful rooms.

In the garden there was a loggia facing Tiber, which was destroyed in 1879 for the creation of the river-side walls. Beneath the Villa was found a construction dating from the epoch of emperor Augustus richly decorated with the paintings and stuccoes, located now in the Museo Nazionale Romano. The famous horse stables of the Villa were able to accept 100 horses and needed servants (doesn't exist anymore).

Now Villa della Farnesina houses the administrative offices of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Founded in 1603, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei is the oldest scientific academy worldwide. The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, placed within the sphere of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage is considered the highest Italian cultural institution. It is one of the most authoritative academies. Amongs its members was Galileo Galilei. It has its seat in Palazzo Corsini, while Villa Farnesina is the representation office. Its aim is to promote, coordinate, integrate and foster the scientific knowledge. Among the prizes it periodically calls, is the"Premio Nazionale del Presidente della Repubblica" (The National Prize of the President of the Republic).

Farnesina Villa (Villa della Farnesina)
Palazzo Corsini - Via della Lungara, 10 e 230
Opposite the Corsini Palace, across the Tiber River.
00165, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Parione (Navona-Campo de' Fiori) (Roma centro)
Farnesina Villa (Villa della Farnesina) is Shown By "Map H Zone" As "60"
Bus: 65, 23, 280, 170, 717, 75, 44, 60, 56, 181
Tram: 3
Opening hours: 9.00-13.00 (last entrance at 12:40) everyday except Sundays and holidays. Special visits upon request, based on availability, for a minimum of 30 visitors.
Entrance fees:
Adults: €5.00, Reduced (Ages 14 to 18): €3.00, students: 2,00 €.
Reservations and To book a tour: e-mail: lape...@lincei.it & Tel: +39 06 6802 73 97 - +39 06 68 02 75 38.
Guided Tours: Starting on March 5th, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei offers a tour of Villa Farnesina with complimentary guide on Mondays and Fridays at 12.00 and on Saturdays at 11.30 and 12.30. Entrance fee: 5 Euro. A tour of the Library in Palazzo Corsini at 13.00 can follow the guided tour on Fridays only. Entrance fee for tour and Library: 7 Euro. Special opening with guided tour on the second Sunday of every month 9.00-13.00. Reservation of guided tours is mandatory.
Contact - Farnesina Villa (Villa della Farnesina)
Email: farn...@lincei.it –
Tel: +39 06 68 02 72 67
Website: http://www.villafarnesina.it/
Contact - Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
Palazzo Corsini - Via della Lungara, 10 - 00165 ROMA
Tel.: (39) 06 680271
Fax: (39) 06 6893616
E-mail: segr...@lincei.it
Website: http://www.lincei.it/

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