In Rome: revisiting the Villa Giulia

October 22, 2012

The last time I had visited Rome was when I was seventeen, on a school trip. And although my memories from Rome at the time are scattered, I never forgot about the visit to the Villa Giulia. It made a huge impression on me . The perfect architecture, layer on layer, the gardens and the painted gallery in particular formed a clear picture in my head. Whenever I encounter flying and playing birds in trees and foliage, in real or painted, my thoughts go back to the Villa Giulia.



Come and explore again?

Through the front door, leading to the fantastic collection of Etruscan art and archaeology. The guard suggested visiting the other villa first, recently acquired by the museum, and only open in the morning. But I had to walk straight to the courtyard.


And there they were, still playing around, unaltered since 1550. Or so I would like to believe…at seventeen I wasn’t a conservator yet, just unaware of the impact of time.

Yes, now I can see the age, the changes, the retouchings. The different appreciations over time, the discovery, the restoration. But I chose not to.

The Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia is in Rome, at the northwest border of the Villa Borghese Gardens.