Monday, October 12, 2020



Via di Villa Madama

Begun in 1518 by Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) (1483/1520) for Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, cousin of Leo X (1513/21), later pope himself with the name of Clement VII (1523/34)

Continued after Raphael's death and left unfinished by Antonio Cordini aka Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1483/1546) and Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano (1499/1546)

Restored in 1913 by Pio Piacentini (1846/1928)

It takes its name from Madama Margherita of Austria who used it as her country residence during the time she lived in Rome from 1538 until 1550

She married Alessandro de' Medici and, after he had died, she married Ottavio Farnese nephew of Paul III (1534/49)

The villa was property of the Farnese family until 1731, when it passed to the Bourbons of Naples

Since 1937 it is a public building and it is at the disposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

"The ideals of aristocratic life and hedonistic society of the time inspired to Raphael the reference to the Villa Laurentiana described by Pliny. From this Raphael derived ideas for the spa areas, the circular central courtyard, the hippodrome and especially the agreement between architecture and nature. As the Farnesina but in a grander and more consistent program that used the entire slope of the hill, he located the palace in a splendid natural setting: connecting the building to the landscape with terraces, fences, yards, lakes and architectures made out of trees, he takes in the composition the element of nature and exploits it in a scenic way" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)


Three round arches overlooking the Italian garden

Stuccos in the loggia by Giovanni Ricamatore aka Giovanni da Udine (1487/1564) and paintings "Ovid's Metamorphoses" by Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano


White stuccos dated 1525 and signed by Giovanni da Udine


Beautifully decorated by Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano

In the frieze "Exotic animals" including turkey and puma from newly discovered America

The floors are all over made out of terracotta and multi-colored ancient marble

ITALIAN GARDEN, in front of the loggia:

"Elephant Fountain"

Designed by Giovanni da Udine. It commemorates the Indian elephant Hanno, brought to Rome by the Ambassador of Portugal on the occasion of the consecration of Leo X Medici (1513/21)

At the sides of the entrance "Giants made out of stucco" by Bartolomeo Bandinelli aka Baccio Bandinelli (1488/1560)

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