Friday, October 23, 2015

Villa Farnesina

Where: Via della Lungara, 230, Trastevere
Cost: €12
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9:00-14:00, open the second Sunday of every month 9:00am - 17:00pm

I hadn't heard much about Villa Farnesina apart from seeing a street sign pointing in the general direction and telling me there was a fresco of Galatea by Raphael inside. So, on my exploration of Trastevere I found this serene villa on the street opposite the Corsini Gallery and wandered inside.
The villa and grounds are lovely and once belonged to papal banker Agostino Chigi who commissioned Raphael and his studio to decorate the villa with frescoes in the early 16th century. Towards the end of the 16th century it was bought by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and the name changed to Villa Farnesina.
There are only about five rooms of the villa open to the public but I was amazed with the condition and colours of the frescoes painted by Raphael, il Sodoma, Giulio Romano and Giovanni da Udine. I was also lucky enough to be one of the few tourists visiting that day as it was in the month of August and a time when most people leave Rome to find some place cooler to holiday.

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Helpful Hints

Getting Around

I found walking Rome was the best way to see everything.

The metro, trams and buses are also an easy and cheap option.

Buses and the metro can get crowded. Tickets must be bought before boarding and validated.

Beware of pickpockets.

Buses 40 (express) and 64 start at Termini and end near Saint Peter's, traveling past places of interest, returning the same way.

Some stops along the 64 route are:


Piazza Venezia

Via Nazionale

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Bus 75 takes you past the Colosseum to Trastevere

Bus 910 takes you to Villa Borghese

Ticket Options

€1.50 B.I.T (Biglietto Integrato a Tempo) is the standard ticket valid for one metro, unlimited tram or bus rides within 100 minutes.

€7.00 B.I.G ( Biglietto Integrato a Giornaliero) is a daily ticket valid for unlimited metro, tram, bus and train travel within Rome.

Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

Newsstands, train stations, metro stations, kiosks with the ATAC logo and tabacchi shops sell tickets for the metro, trams and buses.

Large fines apply to travelers not holding or validating their ticket. Tickets once validated start from the time they have been stamped.

These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.

other sites I trust for information on Rome are:
Rome Art Lover
Churches of Rome wiki