Discovering the Beauty of Villa Farnesina: A Renaissance Gem 1

Villa Farnesina

Located in the heart of Rome, Villa Farnesina is a stunning example of Renaissance architecture and art. Built in the early 16th century for a wealthy banker, the villa’s breathtaking frescoes and intricate details make it a must-see for art lovers and history enthusiasts alike. Join us on a journey through the history and beauty of this hidden gem.

Villa Farnesina is a magnificent Renaissance villa located in the Trastevere district of Rome, Italy. The wealthy banker Agostino Chigi, called “il Magnifico”, the Magnificent, commissioned Baldassare Peruzzi, to build the villa in 1508. Chigi maintained excellent relations with the popes and artists of his time. He was the banker of Alexander VI and Leo X and, like Pope Julius II, was always able to convince the best artists of his ideas. The Farnesina undoubtedly represents a high point of classicism. The architecture of the villa with its elegant columns, refined details and beautiful gardens is also remarkable.

Many other famous artists worked on the construction, such as Raphael, Giulio Romano, Sodoma and Sebastiano del Piombo. The theme was Greek mythology. The most famous works include the “Council of the Gods”, “Banquet of the Gods”, the “Marriage of Cupid and Psyche”, “The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane” and Peruzzi’s “Hall of Perspectives”. The deceptively real painted vistas and colonnades are one of the few surviving works by Baldassare Peruzzi.

The parties he hosted counted as particularly extravagant. The guests were served with silver services personified with their coats of arms. At the end, they were invited to simply throw the precious dishes out of the window into the Tiber. What the guests didn’t know, however, was that there was a hidden net stretched out below, which caught everything safely.

After Agostino’s death, the villa passed to his sons on the condition that they never sell it, but in 1577 it passed to the Farnese family. Alessandro Farnese, later Pope Paul III, had been toying with the idea of acquiring Villa Chigi for quite some time, which is the reason for the present name Villa Farnesina.

The Accademia dei Lincei is the current owner. It is an academy of sciences founded by Prince Cesi in 1603. Today it is open to the public and testifies to the beauty and grandeur of Renaissance architecture and art. Unfortunately, nothing remains of the original garden, with fruit trees, a loggia and a grotto. The present garden is only a fragment of the original by Baldassare Peruzzi.

The famous Leon Battista Alberti wrote “How happy is he to be praised who is allowed to stay in the villa – a place of unimagined delight!”.

Villa Farnesina

Villa Farnesina (Rome)